THIS week we launched the search to find Glasgow's Favourite Business 2017.

The award, sponsored by the Evening Times, is part of Glasgow Chamber of Commerce's annual Glasgow Business Awards, now in their 20th year. The headline sponsor is Royal Bank of Scotland.

Today we look at the final two nominees for the accolade of Glasgow's Favourite Business - the Glasgow Film Theatre and Tantrum Doughnuts. For details of how to vote for your favourite, see the panel below.


By email: tell us which one of the six nominees - the Glasgow Film Theatre, the Scotia Bar, Tantrum Doughnuts, iOLLA, Partick Thistle and Tam Shepherds - you would like to see win the title of Glasgow's Favourite Business 2017. Simply email us on

By post: Drop us a line at Business Awards, Evening Times Newsdesk, 200 Renfield Street, Glasgow G2 3QB, with the name of the business you think should win.

There is a deadline of 5pm August 21 for email and postal votes.

You can also cast a vote online. All you need to do is visit and vote for one of the six companies. Again, the deadline is 5pm on August 25.


IT’S not every pub that can say that most Glaswegians have visited it at some point in their lives.

But then, this is the Scotia, one of the country’s most famous pubs - and one, moreover, that has been serving Glasgow for more than 200 years.

The famously convivial Stockwell Street pub was established in 1792 and is, says general manager Hannah Tallis, “the longest-established trading bar” in the city.

A glance at the pub’s Facebook page reveals just some of the reasons why people love the place.

“Back after a few years away...gr8 always the band was fab, but didn’t catch their staff”, says one.

Says another: “Lost all hope in humanity? Come here! Everyone we met was extraordinarily kind and social. The drinks are plentiful and the conversations soul-warming”.

What makes the Scotia so special? “It’s the community around it, to be honest”, says Hannah. “It is enjoyed by creative people who practise and appreciate the arts, and who enjoy a wee drink.

“It’s all about the creativity. We focus on music, on the writing and poetry. We cater for all genres of music as well - everybody is welcome to participate. It’s not just what happens to be scheduled - the music can happen spontaneously”.

Which means that if you show up at the Scotia with your guitar, there’s every prospect that you will end up in the middle of a jam session.

“We also have a house guitar that we lend out to anyone who wants a go, and there’s always somebody who wants to join in”.

Not for nothing does the Scotia say that music is at the centre of everything it does. Its tagline is ‘Keep music live’. The gigs at the Scotia focus on folk and rock, but other genres, such as jazz, are more than welcome. And a ska band regularly plays the venue.

“We’re also really proud of our heritage here”, Hannah adds. “It hasn’t had a refurbishment since the 1920s, which shows as you walk in. It’s like entering a little time-capsule, and it takes you away from all the ‘plastic fantastic’ you get elsewhere. Here you can appreciate a pub in a proper pub surrounding”.

The wooden furnishings, the picture-lined walls and the various nooks and crannies all lend weight to that.

Among the pub’s better-known clientele over the years have been writers James Kelman and the late William McIlvanney.

And, of course, the Humblebums - Billy Connolly and the late Gerry Rafferty - are forever associated with the Scotia. Hannah smiles as she says: “Billy even gave us a shout-out on his last stand-up tour - he said the Scotia folks are crazy but that it’s a great place to go”.

Hannah herself has only been at the Scotia for eight months. “This is my seventh pub but it’s by far my favourite”, she says. “It’s the most traditional one, as well as the most individual.

“It’s really the people who make it, of course. The pub is a big hit with tourists, but what makes it a hit with them is that they’re guaranteed a conversation and some craic with whoever it is that is sitting at the bar”.



“IT’S a well-loved institution”, says Allison Gardner, when asked why the GFT - the Glasgow Film Theatre - continues to thrive, almost 80 years after it opened. “And I think our motto, ‘Cinema for all’ resounds very well with the people of Glasgow”.

The GFT began life as the Cosmo in 1939 and is, to use its own words, Scotland’s original independent cinema and the home of film in Glasgow. Its three screens cater for every taste and every age, and the Rose Street venue is also the focal point of the annual Glasgow Film Festival.

The programme over the next few days includes everything from Christopher Nolan’s long-awaited WW2 epic, Dunkirk, to special strands on the work of such directors as Jonathan Demme and Sofia Coppola - to say nothing of films aimed at younger audiences.

“We work very hard to provide an alternative programme to the mainstream but we are also accessible”, says Allison, programme director at the GFT and co-director of the film festival.

“Here, you’ll get high-end and low-end culture, from a Calamity Jane singalong and free movies for families on Saturday mornings, through to the five-hour, ten-minute long films about Filipino goat-herding in black and white.

“That’s our job, to make cinema accessible, entertaining, fun and, without being heavy-handed, educational. But we also want to give people an alternative.

“We have been doing that for a very long time”, she adds. “For example, we started showing It’s A Wonderful Life when I started programming it many years ago, and it has now become a Glasgow institution. It’s not an obviously Christmas film … but it clearly chimes with the people of city. We’re the most successful cinema that shows that film in the whole of the UK.

“We’re rooted in the community, but we have many communities, so we’ll do lots of work on things like Visible Cinema, which is for our deaf and hard-of-hearing audiences.

“We have free Saturday-morning screenings for kids if they have their Glasgow Kids card - their parents get to come free, too.

“On the first Saturday of every month we have Take 2 Access, for children and families with autism. There’s an Access Film Club, for people aged 15 and over with autism. So there are lots of communities at the GFT”.

Externally, the cinema has changed very little from its Cosmo heyday. Inside, though, it’s a different story. More than £3 million has been spent on redeveloping the interior, including the launch of Cinema 3 and a bigger, better foyer. Two new bars have been added, and the famed ‘butterfly’ staircase has been reinstated.

“We’re very lucky, because lots of people say they feel very safe and comfortable coming here”, adds Allison. “A lot of women come here on their own - they have a glass of wine and watch their chosen film. For us, things like that are a huge compliment”.

“We’re also lucky in that we get to play with the GFT”, she says. For example one entertaining strand is ‘Sequels We Love’, offering such films as Mad Max 2, Terminator 2 (shown in 3D), and Three Colours Red.

“One of the great things about GFT is that the films are programmed right here - we can decide what we want to show. People email us and chat to us, too. Most cinemas are programmed from London, but we have much more freedom here”. Even if it is just to schedule a five-hour-long film about Filipino goat-herding.