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The Black Sparrow

Bars and pubs Anderston
3 out of 5 stars
The Black Sparrow, Bars, Glasgow
© Stephen Robinson

Smart 1920s-styled bar serving poshed-up pub grub and continental lagers. Don’t miss the garden in summer

Charles Bukowski fans will recognise the connection between this place and its next-door neighbour Chinaski’s, both having been opened by the same proprietor on a similar theme (although they’re now run by different management). Where Chinaski’s is named after the legendary barfly’s literary alter-ego, Black Sparrow – which inhabits the former premises of veteran Glasgow boozer The Ritz – is named in honour of Bukowski’s first publisher.

It’s a smart-looking place, with a Roaring Twenties feel to it; a gleaming bar with high mirror-backed shelves, leather booths, chandeliers and an ornate corniced ceiling all feature. The mezzanine area is largely reserved for diners, enjoying the bar’s rather less-smartly styled ‘posh pub grub’, which is of a much better quality than the name suggests.

Dishes include the Black Sparrow burger (6oz prime minced beef with smoked cheddar, caramelised onions and jalapeños), crispy pork belly served with apple and fennel coleslaw and seared scallops with chorizo and sautéed potatoes. There’s also a tapas menu, which is good value – three plates for £9.95 Monday to Friday until 5pm, and £10.95 at all other times.

There’s a wider-than-average range of draught beers – mostly continental lagers – to choose from, including WEST, Staropramen and Bitburger. Like Chinaski’s, Black Sparrow has a nice little hidden-away beer garden out the back worth seeking out on warm days. They also have a basement bar and events space, which is available for private bookings.

By: Malcolm Jack


Venue name: The Black Sparrow
Address: 241 North Street
Charing Cross