“ 708 Pollokshaws Road, Glasgow. G41 2AD. Tel: 01414230380 „
Ah! Heraghty's - my favourite pub in Glasgow, if not in the whole world. And I say this despite, or perhaps because of, the fact that it was within the confines of this small, even pokey (and in those days very smoky) southside hostelry that I first met my husband.
Heraghty's is situated on the busy Pollokshaws Road, near its junction with Nithsdale Street and Allison Street. A "proper" Irish bar, in that it doesn't advertise itself as such, there has been a pub on this site since 1890. Named after Michael J Heraghty in its current incarnation, it has been run by the Heraghty family for over 30 years now.
Small but perfectly formed it has an elegant Edwardian gantry, a beautiful stained glass window above the door and unusual etched glass windows. There is a traditional wooden bar running along the length of the left-hand side of the interior, complete with those little hooks under the bar to hang your jacket/bag on. Down the right hand side there is leather banquette seating and wooden pill-shaped fixed tables with wooden stools scattered about. The décor consists mainly of lots of mirrors, some with distillers advertising, a blackboard proclaiming the details of the upcoming matches for the pub's football team, Heraghty's Heroes and photos of said team over the years.
The toilets are compact, but well appointed. It's expected that you advise bar staff should you use the last of the "supplies", whereupon you will probably be handed the holder key and a fresh roll so you can replenish as necessary! And having a ladies toilet on the premises is a vast improvement to the position pre-1996 when the arrangement was that female patrons were required to use those in the bar next door.
Heraghty's has a small selection of draught beers and lagers and both regular and Extra Cold Guinness. It's said that the Guinness in Heraghty's is only bettered by that in Dublin, such is the expertise of the manager, Danny, when it comes to maintaining the pipes and cellar to achieve optimum results. I've certainly never had a bad pint.
As well as a decent selection of the usual bottled beers, soft drinks, wine, spirits and the odd alcopop or two, Hergahty's has an excellent selection of malt whisky with a small blackboard by the till advertising the "Malt of the Month".
Food isn't served other than crisps, nuts and those scampi fries (eugh!) but if you're peckish, it's quite acceptable to nip next door to Shahed's and take a portion of their very excellent chicken pakora back into the pub with you - just be prepared to share!
Although there are regular quiz nights and live music nights (it's always a mystery to me how they cram the musicians and their instruments into such a confined space - but they do!), Heraghty's is predominantly a pub for chat, relaxation and football.
There is a TV at either end of the bar but the sound doesn't tend to be up unless there is a big game on. Predominantly, but certainly not exclusively, a Celtic bar, Heraghty's also attracts a significant Tartan Army element whenever they are in the city. Danny does tend to restrict entry to regulars during Old Firm games and Celtic European games as it does tend to get extremely crowded during these events.
What makes Heraghty's special to me though, is not the décor or the Guinness but the people who drink there. Friendly folks from all walks of life, this is not a joint for poseurs (although there is one regular who is an award winning director/actor - but I'm not one to namedrop!) You'll never be stuck for someone to chat to, but during the day if you just want to sit in the corner and read the paper while you sup, that's just fine too.
Unusually for a bar in Glasgow there are no mic'd up, muscled, black-clad bouncers on the door. No need. The bar staff and management are experienced and professional and it just isn't that kind of place.
I don't go out as much now as I used to before I had our children but it's nice to know that there is someone I can still go, albeit only occasionally, where the bar staff know my name - and my "usual"!
M. J. Heraghty, 708 Pollokshaws Road, Glasgow, G41 2AD
0141 423 0380
For more information on the history of Heraghty's see http://www.oldglasgowpubs.co.uk/heraghty.html