290 Main Street, Coatbridge. Ml5 3RS. Tel: 01236 421551.
Owen's Bar. 2006.
The original Big Owen's Bar was at 34 Lock Street, Coatbridge. Patrick O'Brien an Irishman born in Co. Monaghan, settled in Glasgow to take over the Auld Hoose in the Gallowgate in the 1920s and held the licence for twenty years. He moved to Coatbridge and added another pub to his small empire and acquired the Circle Bar, Main Street in 1926, and then acquired the Big Tree, Whifflet Street in April 1928. He also owned the Killiekrankie Bar at 34 Locks Street, Coatdyke, Coatbridge, which he took over in April 1939, succeeding the late Mr Collins who had held the licence for over 40 Years.
In the early part of 1940 Mr Patrick O'Brien made alterations to the Killiekrankie Bar which met approval of his many customers. The old fashioned cramped premises were now a roomy modern public house which was a credit to the district. Originally, the premises consisted merely of a small public bar, a sitting-room which, through the week, was sometimes used as a store room, and two store rooms at the back of the premises.
All this accommodation had now been slumped together to provide a spacious, modern public bar, with counter and gleaming gantry in the middle, as well as two sections in the front corners partitioned off to provide "Snugs." Two additional windows had been brought into use for the public bar, and the cellar, which was situated on the same level at the back, had also improved. Improvements had also been made in the toilet accommodation. A family department (Off Sales) was situated off the vestibule was another addition.
The counter, roughly circular, was mahogany topped and the gantry was well-lit by electricity. The counter was divided off into sections.
The lower walls were of dark brown panelled wood, with the upper sections and ceiling cream-coloured. There was a white-tiled, open fireplace in the public bar, and another with white and green tiles in one of the"snugs. The other snug had an electric fire. Both snugs had fixed wall seating with tables and electric bell pushes.
Besides a service door from the public bar to the cellar, there was also a door to the cellar from outside. Formerly supplies had to be carried through the bar to the cellar.
The architect was James Davidson & Son, Coatbridge and their alterations were undoubtedly a great improvement with the owners and the customers. The joinery work was also by local businesses, Mill's & Co., Coatbridge.
Mr Patrick O'Brien resided at 28 Ness Street, Riddrie, Glasgow. He was a member of the Glasgow and District Licensed Trade Defence Association and also of the Glasgow Vintners.
A relative Owen O'Brien went into some sort of Partnership with Patrick at a later date Big Owen's name was carried on in the new Owen's Bar.
Views of the interior. 2006.
Owen's Bar Beer Garden at the rear of the premises. 2006.
Mr Owen O'Brien, owner of Big Owen's Bar.