The Pub Punter: Walkabout, 128 Renfield Street, Glasgow

There’s no doubt about it … one of life’s great pleasures is having a swift pint after work. So for my latest pub review I popped into the Australian theme pub that sits on the site of the old Apollo Theatre and is just over the road from the Evening Times offices.

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Walkabout’s been around for years but it’s not a place that I’ve set foot in very often as it looks like a place for younger drinkers. Certainly most of the punters you see outside on the pavement having a cigarette don’t look a day over 25. Well … John Major was Prime Minister back in the day when I was 25 so I normally opt for a beer in the Atholl Arms, or Lauder’s  on the rare occasion that I fancy a pint when the working day is done.

But I wasn’t going to let my status as 40-something- with-mild-arthritis-when- the-weather’s-cold stop me from giving it a try. As I walked in, I recognised the dulcet tones of Robin Thicke’s Blurred Lines on the pub’s sound system and I was struck by the size of the place. It’s massive. There’s a big bar downstairs with a dance floor area and a nightclub upstairs. There were only about  15 customers in when I visited on a Monday night, so there wasn’t much of an atmosphere.

Credit where it’s due though.  There were plenty of bar staff on duty and they were a friendly, efficient bunch and I was served immediately. My £3.20 pint of Fosters tasted good, although perhaps a tad pricey for a venue that targets the student market. There’s a full selection of crisps and nuts and a wide range of meals … including Kangaroo steak!!! I decided against tucking in to one of Skippy’s cousins and opted to play it safe with a standard packet of dry-roasted nuts.

Looking around, I noticed lots of TV screens which makes it a good bet for watching sport and I would imagine it’ll be a popular venue during the World Cup. Certainly there were plenty posters in the bar advertising the forthcoming football extravaganza.

The one thing that disappointed me about Walkabout is that it’s a bar that is badly crying out for a bit of Tender Loving Pub Care. The upholstery on the seats round one of the tables was ripped and worse was to come when I visited the toilets. One cubicle was stuffed full of unused loo roll and a panel below the urinals was missing. I decided it was time to go.

There’s a lot of good things about this pub. It has top notch bar staff and serves a tasty pint of lager but I opted to leave its charms to the 20-something crowd … so I finished my Foster’s and decided to go Walkabout too. All the way over the road to Lauder’s.

Marks out of 5

Value 3

Atmosphere 2

Bar snacks 3

Loos 2

Quality of lager 4

Total 14 out of 25

Food and drink

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