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Old Glasgow Pubs by john gorevan


The Alhambra Inn.

31 Waterloo Street, Glasgow. G2 6BZ.



Alhambra Inn. 1991.

The Alhambra Inn has been a landmark in the city centre for many years. After the Second World War this was a confectioners run by Mrs Helen Persichini. In the 1950s Louis Evaristi was trading here known as the Alhambra Vintry wine merchants. In 1970 a full public house licence was granted to Mr Evaristi. This pub has changed its name now to Rabbie Burns and the last time I walked by the pub was closed down. During the 1980s the Alhambra Inn was a popular bar, upstairs held many private functions and office parties.

Rabbie Burns Tavern as it is now called will never be opened as a pub again, the owners Creevy LLH has sold the pub to a private investor for over £625,000. It is destined for mixed retail. With the increasing accessibility requirements of the Disability Discrimination Legislation and the desire for open plan pubs, the pub is no longer suited for a public house.

Sadly the pub was demolished 2006. A new office block of flats will probably take it's place.

In the News 1974...

Alhambra Inn brings touch of Nostalgia.

Alhambra Inn advert 1974

There's a new Alhambra for Glasgow, not the theatre, but a nostalgic reminder of it in the form of the recently opened Alhambra Inn at the corner of Waterloo Street and Wellington Street.

Under the personal supervision of the owner Mr. Louis Evaristi, who's been catering for the Glasgow public on that same corner for the past 25 years, the Alhambra Inn is a bar restaurant with lots of atmosphere, the tasteful kind.

There's the air of a theatre bar, it even has a rather grand panelled and carpeted staircase to the upper lounge with its adjoining bar-cum-waiting area for the small, intimate restaurant. If it seems different from most other bars once you're inside, that's probably because the interior decorators never got their hands on it. Mr. Evaristi's family chose the lovely Sanderson paper, olive green Hessian walls, velvet curtains, and rich maple hardwood as well as the framed photographic reproductions of old Alhambra programmes and pages of newspaper advertisements which appeared at the opening of the theatre.

Lounge music

This long, L-shaped upper floor extends round the corner into the restaurant area, where there are large framed art nouveau style prints. Mr. Evaristi would like to have a piano bar, but so far hasn't found a pianist. Groups appear in the lounge on Wednesdays and Saturdays, and it's provided with a colour TV too, but if it's a quiet drink and a candlelit meal you want, you won't be disturbed.

Downstairs there's a public bar with it's own entrance, decorated in the same colour scheme as the main bar and restaurant upstairs, and with its own colour TV. The most striking feature of the public bar is a wall of blow-ups of an Alhambra concert programme surrounded by cartoons of Harry Lauder, one of which he drew himself.

The restaurant provides lunch from 11 a.m. on to about 2 p.m., or you can choose from the snack menu and eat anywhere in the bars. Dinner starts at 5 p.m. and last orders are taken at 9.40 p.m. Quarter gills are the bar measure, and there's a good representative wine list.

Snack menu

The snack menu varies each day, and includes Scotch Pie for 12p or cold meat and salad for 35p to 40p , apple pie and custard 12p, and coffee with fresh cream also 12p. The business man's lunch for 73p, including VAT, offers chilled fruit juices, soup, fish, steak pie and the like or cold dishes with salads such as pineapple and cheese, dessert or tea or coffee and biscuits.

The a la carte menu has a choice of about a dozen different main courses such as grilled T-bone steak for £1.70 or rainbow trout, £1, omelette 65p, several vegetables at 10p plus the usual starters and sweets. It's a small dining room, so if you want to be sure of your meal it's better to make reservations. An excellent chef, given enough notice will prepare anything special you would like, even a birthday cake, and the Inn is available for functions, stag parties and the like, on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays.

And yes, they do take luncheon vouchers.


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