Star ploughs cash into creating more food-led Scottish pubs

ICONIC BANNISTERS IN ARGYLE ST. GETS A MAKEOVER L-R NEW OWNERS GERRY TARTAGLIA, MARK LAPPIN,PAUL BRIGHT ....pic /copyright Iain Brown mbl 07595423918 iainbrownphoto@aol.com....pic /copyright Iain Brown mbl

Work has begun on a major £500k refurbishment of Bannisters on Argyle Street by Star Pubs & Bars and new licensees, Glasgow pub operators One Leisure Group.

The refurbishment is part of a £2m investment that Star is making in its Scottish pubs this year, £1m of which is being spent in Glasgow.

The three month project will transform the tired traditional pub into a stylish bar serving great food and the pub will be renamed Strip Joint after the Finnieston ‘Strip’ to signal its new direction. Scheduled to open in November, the pub will create 25 new jobs.

Situated in a prime location close to the SSE Hydro and the SECC, the site is the last undeveloped licensed premises in Finnieston and will lengthen the run of great bars and restaurants on Argyle Street. With no new licenses currently being issued in Finnieston the competition to secure the lease was intense.

One Leisure Group was selected following its great track record in building popular venues in Glasgow, its proximity to the SECC and its reputation for creating venues which are known for music.

The refurbishment work will include the installation of large windows to lighten the bar inside and opening up and reconfiguring the interior. An open plan kitchen will be added and the toilets will be moved to the basement to increase space for customers.

The pub will be redecorated throughout with a shabby chic theme while the outside of the building is also being renovated to improve its appearance.

Strip Joint will appeal to a wide range of customers with its offer changing at different times of the day. Opening at 11am with barista quality coffee, food will be served throughout the day including stone baked pizzas, burgers and a grill selection. In the evenings it will take on a lively, party atmosphere with a full cocktail menu.

State of the art Smartdispense cellar equipment is being installed to ensure outstanding quality beer. Strip Joint is also on course to be the first bar in Glasgow to serve Krusovice tank beer.

Lawson Mountstevens, Star Pubs & Bars managing director said: “The pub is in one of the best positions in Glasgow and has real untapped potential. It’s great that such an experienced operator as One Leisure Group has taken the lease and is investing with us. I’m confident they will push the boundaries to create another iconic bar for Glasgow.”

Mark Lappin director of One Leisure Group, which has four bars in Glasgow, adds: “I’ve lived in Glasgow nearly all my life and love the city. Finnieston is the place to be in the west side of Glasgow and I’ve been on the lookout for a bar for some time but they’re hard to come by. Glasgow has got a fantastic range of bars and restaurants so you’ve got to work hard to attract customers.

“With our love of music, we’re excited to be next to the second busiest music venue in the world and we’ll be aiming to combine good music and a lot of fun with outstanding drinks, food and service to give our customers a great time.”

One Leisure Group’s other Glasgow bars include Maggie Mays, Slouch, Howlin Wolf and the Partick Tavern currently being refurbished and renamed the Bag o Nails.

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