“ St Machar Bar, 97 High Street, Old Aberdeen, Aberdeen, Grampian, Scotland, AB24 3EN. Tel. +44 (0)1224 483079 „
I practically lived here whilst an undergraduate at Aberdeen 1986-1990. So glad to hear it sounds exactly the same. Stovies, doorsteps, and heavy (No. 3 in my era). I have so many fantastic memories of this place, and it was my daytime social hub, also for cheeky early evening sessions. I could often be found in here bunking off in the afternoon, too, and will remember being first in after my final exam for a session of truly monstrous proportions. The staff were terrific then too. It must be more pleasant for non-smokers in there now, as it got pretty foggy back in the day. I seem to remember the low stools being very easy to fall off of, but suspect that had a lot to do with the amount I drank.
Kudos to current patrons, staff and ownership for keeping the flame of hospitality and good cheer alight. The tradition predated me by hundreds of years, and I hope to stop in before too long (although now live in NYC) to contribute to its once again.
The Machar pub is situated in the middle of the old university of Aberdeen campus in the High Street. It's the only pub within the body of the campus. There is also the Bobbin on King Street but that is too far to walk for a quick pint! The Machar pub is amazing - it is bascially a tardis. Its looks tiny from the outside but you can fit an amazing number of people in it as it stretches so far back. It is quite an old fashioned pub - no airs or graces and no fancy gimmicks either. This pub bases itself on serving you a good pint of beer with the minimum of fuss - exactly what you want inbetween those brain numbing lectures. It serves a lot of beers and lagers on tap and, my goodness, they know how to pour a pint. Non beer drinkers should not be put off as they also have bottled beer and are well acquainted with popular student drinks such as cider and black. One of my favourite tipples in there is a bottle of sweetheart stout - great in the winter time! There is also food as well. The Machars stovies are legendary and are cooked in a huge cauldron-like pot in the small kitchen at the back of the pub. They are served in a big pile topped with the traditional oat cake. The sandwiches are also famous - huge doorsteps filled to the brim with the usual fillings of cheese, tuna, pickle etc. One of the few gripes about the place is the lack of seats. Because it is so small and narrow the bar takes up half the width of the entire pub. If you want a seat get there before 5pm! The bar staff are mature (no students behind the bar) and are friendly but if you are a regular, and they get to know you, be prepared for a lot of leg pulling! Basically its great place to have as a local and its great for a really good quick pint!