Trade set for poll day boost

Operators gear up for busy night as Scotland awaits result

OPERATORS across Scotland are gearing up for a busy night as the country awaits the result of today’s independence referendum.

Licensees have planned a raft of activity, from live coverage of the results to themed food and drinks, as the votes to determine whether Scotland remains part of the UK or becomes an independent country are counted.
In Edinburgh, The Shilling Group has been granted a two-hour extension for two of its pubs – the Golden Rule in Yeaman Place and Carriers Quarters in Leith – meaning both can open until 3am tomorrow (Friday September 19) morning.
Owner Michael McGuigan said both bars will screen live coverage of the results tonight.
“It’s a huge historic event and people are engrossed in it,” he told SLTN.
“No matter which way it goes, we definitely want to be in the thick of it. You’ve got to take advantage of every opportunity.
“We’re doing a Scottish theme, with haggis, neeps and tatties and stovies. Whether people vote yes or no, it doesn’t change their nationality; they’re still Scottish.
“One side will be celebrating, one will be commiserating. I think a lot of people will want to go to their local pub for this huge event; I think it will be a big night.”
In Glasgow, Billy Gold is expecting trade at his Hielan Jessie pub on Gallowgate to be busy today.
“The referendum is the talk of the steamie,” he told SLTN.
“I think the pub will be busy.
“We haven’t planned anything formal but we’ll do something. It will be lighthearted, though; I don’t want people ramming it down other people’s throats.”
Inverness outlets Johnny Foxes and The Den have staged a ‘band countdown’ in the week leading up to today’s referendum. There is more live music planned for tonight along with live coverage of the results.
“It’s a big, historic day, and regardless of which way the vote goes it’s going to mean big changes for Scotland,” said manager Tina MacDonald.
“We’re hoping to have people that are going to polling stations throughout the day popping in. We’re hoping it will be beneficial, and whichever way it goes it will be a positive effect for the business.”
In Peebles, the Bridge Inn will show the results tonight on the pub’s three screens.
Assistant manager Carris Donaldson said: “I think people will definitely be out and about because of it. It’s such a hot topic.
“We’ve got an older generation that comes in here, a lot of them live by themselves and they come out because they want to discuss stuff with people. I imagine they’ll be in.”
SLTA chief Paul Waterson said: “It doesn’t matter what side you’re on, the pub is a natural place for these discussions; everyone will want to remember where they were.
“I think it will boost trade.”