Review: Curlers Rest, Byres Road

Curlers has been a Byres Road staple for a very long term, certainly as long as I can remember. Back in the day it was always a great place for a super cheap pint and a bite to eat (seriously, you could get a burger and a pint for £3.99 back then!). More recently (although about 2 years ago now) they changed their image overnight, added the word “Rest” to their title and doubled their prices.

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Now, it might sound from that introduction that I’m bitter about this change. While it’s true that it was a shame to lose the only truly cheap pub in the area (maybe excluding Tennent’s), the establishment which has replaced it is so good, for so many reasons, you can’t possibly stay angry for long.

The most striking thing about the transformation was the interior. Gone were the old musty couches and beer stained carpets. The whole place now has a cosy, rustic charm but with clean, solid lines in the form of large solid oak tables and chairs. The bar is huge and basically runs the length of the place, but instead of drowning in Carlsberg nowadays they have a huge selection of beer on draught. The most, in fact, that I’ve seen anywhere in Glasgow. The selection is wide, although pretty lager-heavy so real ale fans may not have quite the same selection (still not bad though). It’s worth noting the prices here as you won’t be pay much less than £4 for a pint. It’s steep, but you’re paying for the variety and the fantastic atmosphere.

Speaking of which, this is truly the bar’s best selling point. Immediately after the changeover it was in a kind of awkward twilight zone since the old regulars could no longer afford it and not enough trendy west end types had bothered to check it out yet. Now though, it’s really come into its own and on a Friday or Saturday night, particularly given we’re approaching the festive season, it takes on an amazing convivial atmosphere reminiscent of pubs like The Islay or Ben Nevis down in Finnieston.

If you haven’t before, give Curlers Rest a try – excellent beer selection, nice interior, great atmosphere.

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