Trade thanked as Clutha reopens

By Gillian McKenzie

THE owner of Glasgow’s Clutha bar has praised the “amazing” support from the Scottish trade as he opened a new Clutha venue 20 months after a helicopter crashed into the pub, claiming the lives of ten people.

Alan Crossan told SLTN that backing from his suppliers and licensed trade charity The Ben, coupled with help and support from fellow operators, since the tragedy on November 28, 2013 has been “incredible”.

Mixed emotions: Alan Crossan opened the new Clutha bar late last month.
Mixed emotions: Alan Crossan opened the new Clutha bar late last month.

Alan launched a new Clutha bar next to the original Stockwell Street outlet late last month with a special event attended by first minister Nicola Sturgeon; relatives of the victims and members of the emergency services were also invited to the event, which concluded with a minute’s silence.

The interior of the original pub remains sealed off, while its exterior walls feature a mural of famous faces, including Billy Connelly and Spike Milligan.

The new Clutha, which is located in a former beer garden accessible from the Victoria bar on Bridgegate, which Alan also owns, will have live music at its heart and feature singers and bands who performed in the original venue.

Alan said he launched the new venue with “mixed emotions”.

“It was hard for people but you did get that feeling that the Clutha was back,” he told SLTN.

“The Clutha was always about the people – the staff, the customers, the musicians; it was never about the building.

“The most important thing afterwards was the people. I didn’t know what to do.

“The one thing I had was support – it’s been incredible.

“Tennent’s have been brilliant since it happened; I couldn’t have done it without them. The support from The Ben has been amazing too; they were on the ball from the start.

“That support gives you the strength to help others.”

Going forward, Alan wants to create a memorial garden.

He is also continuing his work with the Clutha Trust, which aims to help disadvantaged young people across Scotland. Alan said any publicans who want to stage a live music event for the Clutha Trust should contact the organisation through Facebook.