The countdown is on to the day when we can again say “they’re open” and head along to our favourite pubs.
The easing of restrictions are in sight – we can get a pint in a beer garden from April 26, then get back inside our locals from May 17.
Hopefully, it won’t be too long until our hospitality industry is doing a roaring trade.
While we raise a toast to the future, let’s also say cheers to the past.
Here’s a look at some classic Aberdeen pubs over the years, some still with us, many others a fond memory.
Old Kings Highway
A landmark on the Green, the Old Kings Highway was the city’s oldest pub, first recorded as a hostelry back in 1741. It closed in 2019 but, as you can see from this 1982 photo, it was always bustling.
Normally renovation work in a traditional pub means a modern update. But in 1992, renovation work on the Market Arms at Hadden Street, in the Merchant Quarter, uncovered this rich oak panelling.
The Waterloo Bar, pictured here in 1975, was once one of five pubs on Waterloo Quay and a fixture of the harbour pub scene. Popular with workers in the shipyards and dockers, it dated from 1890, but is now converted to offices.
No mention of classic Aberdeen bars would be complete without The Grill, shown here in 1995. The Union Street stalwart marked its 150th anniversary last year and is as popular today as it ever was through all those decades. At its heart was legendary barmaid Agnes Flett, who sadly passed away in December.
The Tappit Hen
The Tappit Hen, on the corner of Back Wynd and Gaelic Lane, was a popular city centre watering hole, pictured here in 1988. The pub is now called O’Neill’s and is still a popular spot for a pint or two.
St Clement’s Bar
Another legendary but lost harbour pub was the St Clement’s Bar on St Clement’s Street. Pictured in 1965, the owner William Johnston, pours a pint for a customer from the rich array of beers on offer… McEwan’s or Youngers.
Prince Of Wales
Another Aberdeen landmark pub that is still with us… but only because of a massive campaign to save it 34 years ago. It had been proposed to sweep away the classic boozer as part of a retail development in 1987, but a 3,000-name petition demanding it be saved was handed to the Lord Provost. Thanks to that successful battle, we can still enjoy a pint in the Prince these days.
The watering hole on the corner of Guild Street and Market Street has had many identities over the years. Today it is The Crafstman Company, before that it was The Schooner. But back in 1977 it was the Empire Bar, as can be seen from this photo.
Ye Olde Frigate
Ye Olde Frigate is a familiar sight in the city centre and a popular spot for a dram or two… but look again. The frontage might be instantly recognisable to Aberdonians of today, but this picture is 55 years old. Of course, the major difference is that in 1965 it didn’t have the hulking great St Nicholas Centre across the road.
The Swan Bar
The swan song for this traditional and much-loved bar on Loch Street came in 1987 when it rang last orders for the last time. Not long after, it was demolished to make way for the Bon Accord Centre.