The fight to save the iconic and 'much loved' Glasgow pub, Tennent's Bar has stepped up a gear and intensified after local MSP Pauline McNeill put forward a Motion to the Scottish Parliament which calls on it to 'note the strength of feeling against potential changes' and that the pub is not only a 'landmark' but also a 'Glasgow institution'.
The Motion, put forward on the 3rd of November, to the Parliament and supported by MSP Willie Coffey comes hot on the heels of internet campaigns and i-petitions designed to put pressure on new owners Mitchells and Butlers not to gentrify and turn the historic West End landmark into a gastropub.
Mitchells and Butlers, which has a portfolio of approximately 2000 pubs, recently acquired Tennent's and are considering an extensive refurbishment to the pub during the April/May of 2011.
Tennent's is an integral and iconic part of Glasgow pub culture. This traditional Victorian corner pub which sits in the heart of Glasgow's West End on Byres Road has been an institution since it opened in 1884. It has twelve handpumps dispensing nine regular ales from breweries such as Harviestoun, Orkney, Caledonian and Timmy Taylor as well as three guest ales. There is a real fear not only among its regulars but also the wider beer/pub community that Mitchells and Butlers intend to move away from the traditional real ale pub and rebrand and repackage it a restaurant/bistro/gastro pub.
In their defence, Mitchells and Butlers say that "We are looking at making some changes such as increasing the size of the kitchen. The pub is to be operated under the Nicholson's badge, our collection of historic pubs operating across Britain which all share a passion for Real Ale, traditional pub food and local heritage at their core".
For many Glasgow beer drinkers, it is unthinkable to consider Tennent's not being in its current incarnation this time next year. Instead, it could be another homogenous bar/bistro serving over priced beer and food in a place stripped of its history and legacy. That's a horrible thought.
You can add your name to the save Tennent's petition here -