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A spacious yet cosy bar complete with log fire, wooden benches, a fabulous selection of good beer and tasty vegan food, the 78 was Quite possibly my dream pub when it re-opened a couple years back, transformed from it's former dingy 'Sterio' self into something quite unique. The return of Dub'n'Grub (dub/reggae music and cheap tasty food) on a Thursday night, which has always been a winning combination, saw this place gain popularity quickly. I had both my leaving party and birthday party here last year, as did many of my friends, however I have to stay standards have slipped in the time I've been away. The novel beer selection has diminished, and they quite often don't have the beer you do want in stock, such as the £2 can of Red Stripe they advertise. Don't be fooled into thinking a soft drink is going to be cheaper than an alcoholic one either because at £2.50 for a small bottle of ginger beer you may want to think again. What was once 'relaxed' service has now turned into a joke. Almost every time I have been in recently the service has been terrible and unapologetic when they get things wrong. So I decided not to have my birthday party there this year as planned. Their loss really, it's a shame they have let this place slip.
To celebrate one of my daughters turning 20 we went out to a pub called The 78. This delightful venue lies nestled in a quiet residential street in Glasgow, which is mostly occupied by student accommodation. Everything they serve in this pub is free of animal products, and it is one of the few vegan pubs I have ever come across. This makes it perfect for my daughter as she became vegan 5 years ago. It is situated just off Argyll Street next to Blythwood Motors at 10-14 Kelvinhaugh Street. They don't make a big noise about the pub serving animal friendly drinks and tasty foods at all, in fact you might almost be forgiven if you popped in there and didn't notice, but certainly for us it was a perfect venue to celebrate the passing of her teenage years. On opening the door my first impressions were of a very cosy hideaway indeed. At one end a roaring fire with armchairs nestled beside it so the lucky occupants could toast their toes beside the crackling logs. Everywhere looked rustic, and on the other side of the room were some high backed church style pews which made a great nook for us to pass a few hours. Exposed stone and bricks created an ancient setting, and distressed Provence style units made up the bar. The ambience was calm, inviting and ideal to pass a few hours, either alone with a book, or with friends to catch up on the days' events. Certainly quite an idiosyncratic pub. The presence of dogs who are welcomed made it very special for me-home from home. A greyhound was flat out on a cosy tartan blanket, and a fluffy labradoodle was wagging his tale in the corner with his owner. It was like a scene from a country pub, and this made it a place I could warm to and feel part of. My daughter spends a lot of time in this pub as her boyfriend lives nearby, though she is at university in St Andrews. She is therefore pretty well a regular in there, and could vouch for it always being as cosy as I found it to be on the night we went in mid February. The menu is not extensive, but that is to its credit, as it is a great selection of possible snacks and meals, but not too many so that you are spoilt for choice, and there are daily specials too. At one end of the pub is a servery so you can view the cook as she works through the opening as she tirelessly creates the dishes herself. The three of us were pondering the menu (my other daughter having joined us) and we decided to go for the starters as my vegan daughter had warned us these were as large in themselves as a main meal. I had roasted sweet potato with an avocado and citrus salad with a side order of chips, and my daughter had the same salad but with olives. My other daughter went for the veggie burger which came with a generous salad and chips. We ordered drinks and the food was served after about 15 minutes, a slight wait as it is assembled fresh. Portion sizes were very generous indeed, and the presentation was excellent and the taste was superb. We could have ordered mains to have afterwards but we were full! I was rather tempted by the all day breakfast or the crispy falafel platter, but decided that I would never cope with that on top of my salad. So we all sat and chatted to see if we had room for dessert, which was chocolate cake with cherry icing, or a selection of others all equally gorgeous! The drinks are 90% organic and the wine we had was lovely. They do a fantastic selection of ales including Lomond Ale and Pitfield Bitter, and Luscombe Organic Cider is also on the list of possibilities. The food prices are very reasonable indeed with the starters being under £5 and the mains under £8. Our tummies were full and we idled away some hours in a perfect setting. I was left with only one regret which was that this pub wasn't my local! The staff were friendly, the food faultless, the low level lighting provided by candles created a cosy atmosphere almost like you were nestled in a cave. I felt like I had been treated to a very special night out, and as we closed the door and said goodbye to a real retreat and hailed two taxis and drove off into the Glasgow night, I wished I could return to the serene and relaxing atmosphere we had been given for those few hours. I understand the pub was opened in 2007 so it is a new venture in terms of history. I love everything about it, in some ways it reminded me of my late gran's best room in her house with a few items which looked like they were certainly aging and retro, but the whole atmosphere was brilliant. A great place to spend a few hours.
Vegan Pub and Restaurant