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The Sparkle Horse

Bars and pubs
4 out of 5 stars
The Sparkle Horse, Pubs, Glasgow

Time Out says

4 out of 5 stars

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Event-centric pub with decent food, a weekly quiz and a left-field jukebox. Visit on a weekday to eat on the cheap

This pub’s transformation since December 2012 could hardly have been more complete, nor as warmly welcomed. Previously the dowdy old Dowanhill, it’s now under new management as the much cooler, worldlier, more relaxed and welcoming, yet still satisfyingly simple bar-restaurant The Sparkle Horse.

Titled after the late Mark Linkous’s venerated American indie rock band, this is a family-friendly, community-spirited hangout with music at its heart (owners include members of cult Glasgow band Bis). Don’t be surprised to hear obscure albums played in full from start to finish, nor to find musicians propping up the bar. However, they’ve mostly eschewed live music – for which Glasgow is never under-served – in favour of quirkier events. The Monday night Sparkle Horse pub quiz has become a local institution. The last Sunday afternoon of every month is given over to a ‘baby disco’ – a free event allowing parents to socialise while the kids dance to their mums’ and dads’ guilty pleasure songs.

The beer range could be a little fuller – the fridge tends to be better stocked than the taps, with WEST lager and wheat beers presenting the best draught choices. The food is simple, unfussy and highly recommended – be it the cajun chicken burger with chunky chips or the halloumi salad with honey mustard dressing. Look out for some great special deals too, such as main courses for just £5 or £6 during the week.

By: Malcolm Jack



Address: 16 Dowanhill Street
G11 5QS
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