You’ll remember the scene. Begbie (Robert Carlyle) is upstairs in the pub with his pals. He chucks an empty pint glass from the balcony, girl below gets hit, is covered in blood, starts screaming … and all hell breaks loose.
This part of Scottish movie history was filmed right here in Glasgow and the good news is that nearly 20 years on, the pub is still very much alive and kicking. And even better news is that unlike in the film, it’s not populated by drug addicts, thieves and nutters. Not that I could see, anyway.
Crosslands looks more like a church hall than a pub from the outside but once you venture inside and order your drinks the thing you’ll notice is how cheap it is. A frothing, cool pint of Tennents Lager costs £2.60 while a gin and a bottle of tonic water is £2.90. Very reasonable for a pub which is only ten minutes walk from Byres Road.
To my initial dismay, they were a bit short on crisps. Apparently a delivery was imminent but all was not lost - they did have salt and vinegar Golden Wonders and bacon fries. I used to enjoy bacon fries with a pint 20 years ago so there was the taste of nostalgia as I tucked in and supped my lager.
The clientele is mixed but friendly. Locals happily mingled with students from the halls of residence in nearby Maryhill while workies with high-viz jackets and English accents talked football at the bar. I went upstairs and sat in the very seat where Begbie hurled his glass. There’s a dart board upstairs too if competitive sport is your thing and if you look closely enough, you’ll see a picture of the Trainspotting cast on the wall and a movie poster too. Add in a couple of screens for the football and a raised area downstairs where they do karaoke at the weekend and you’ve got a bit of an entertainment palace just waiting to be discovered.
As for the loos, they were fine and the disabled toilet is easily accessible. Since I’ve started reviewing pubs for the Evening Times here online, I’ve heard that some disabled toilets in pubs are little more than store rooms and are almost impossible to use but that wasn’t the case here.
Crosslands is definitely a pub you should visit. I know I’ll be back. Just don’t go throwing pint glasses about and you’ll have a top quality evening.
Scores out of 25
Bar snacks/meals 3
Quality of lager 4
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