6 lost Glasgow pubs and clubs which will stir fond memories

Glasgow has had some iconic drinking establishments in its time. Here’s a list of some of the long-gone drinking institutions in our city.

Glasgow has some of the finest, and oldest, drinking establishments known to Scotland. Unfortunately in our long history of overconsumption, we’ve lost a few pubs along the way.

So here’s a list of some of the Glasgow pubs of yesteryear, gone, but certainly not forgotten.

The Arches

The Arches was a much-loved arts venue underneath Central Station. Club nights began back in 1992 and Slam was one of the most popular nights of all, with plenty of 90s techno and electronic music. The clubs late licence was revoked in 2015 and it went into administration shortly after. It's now home to street food and events venue, Platform.

The Arches were a Glasgow clubbing institution and was as innovative as it was notorious.

The club nurtured the cities first generation of ravers and techno enthusiasts.

Launched in 1990, as part of Glasgow’s year as European City of Culture, the venue breathed new life into the long-neglected vaults which support the rail lines from the city’s Central Station.

After years of building a reputation as Glasgow’s go-to club for house and dance music, the club was refused its late licence after one too many run-ins with Police Scotland.

Granny Blacks

Granny Blacks in Candleriggs was the first ever hot-food takeaway in Glasgow and could be found in Merchant Square.

Established in 1820 as The Stag, the pub once offered a range of upstairs function, meeting and private dining rooms.

Before the days of licensed legal strip clubs, it was one of the few Glasgow pubs to host strippers, which put them in the bad books of the city’s licensing board.

In 2002 as the Merchant City redevelopment was hitting its stride, a burst water pipe saw the pub’s adjoining tenement, fortunately then empty, collapse into the street.

Despite a campaign from regulars, within days bulldozers moved in and knocked Granny Blacks down in the clean-up operation.

The Locarno

The Locarno Ballroom, Glasgow, 1956. (Picture: Paris-Roubaix/Flickr)

The Locarno on Sauchiehall Street opened in 1926 and boasted a Canadian Maple dancefloor, revolving stage, and runaround balcony. The ballroom was held in the same esteem as the Barrowlands and Dennistoun Palais.

Evolving with Glasgow’s music scene, the ballroom played Charleston and big band jazz in its beginning before slowly turning into a Rock, Soul, and Punk venue.

The club was popular with American soldiers who often stayed at the nearby Beresford Hotel during World War II.

The venue changed names twice, first to Tiffany’s, and then to Zanzibar in its later life - a tropical disco - with zebra-print colour scheme and plastic palm trees.

By the late 80s the huge dancehall proved too difficult to fill, and the venue was converted into a casino, which it remains to this day.


Spankies (or Manhattan, Panama Jax, or the Trading Post depending on your age) could be found on the Clyde Walkway from 1974 onwards.

It was the first purpose-built disco in Glasgow, and for a while was one of the hottest clubs in Glasgow.

Charlie Parkers

Charlie Parkers on Royal Exchange Square was an American-style pub and was hated and loved in equal measures.

Opening in 1977 on the former site of The Gay Gordon Cabaret restaurant, it offered pints and cocktails alongside huge American burgers.

The pub prided itself on it’s exclusivity with the bouncers knocking back what seemed to be most of Glasgow at one point or another.

The Mars Bar

The Mars Bar was Glasgow’s most well-known punk pub, and proved to be more popular than Paisley’s Bungalow Bar or the Silver Thread Hotel for its city centre location.

Just off St Enoch Square, the Mars Bar opened in 1977 and weegie punks claimed the pub as their own.

Simple Minds played there in their early days, and became a regular feature at the Mars Bar, playing every Sunday night.