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Publicans toast trade boost as Dundee join Dundee United in top flight

Dundee derbies will return next season.
Dundee derbies will return next season.

Dundee’s pub owners are hoping it will be all hands to the pump come the start of the Scottish Premiership season.

Those in the licensed trade finally have something to smile about as they prepare to welcome more fans after Dundee FC secured their return to the top tier.

The Dees ran out worthy winners in their play-off match with Kilmarnock FC, after goals from Danny Mullen and Lee Ashcroft on Monday night.

Jubilant scenes at Rugby Park after Dundee FC secured their return to the top flight.

Dundee will now join Dundee United in welcoming a host of big clubs including Rangers, Celtic, Hearts, Hibs and Aberdeen from next season.

Landlords of pubs in and around Dens Park and Tannadice are delighted at the prospect of welcoming fans across the threshold once more.

Boost for trade

Ambassador Bar landlady Catherine Fraser said Dundee’s promotion is good news for her and she is already looking forward to derby day.

“There will be a big impact for all the pubs around the stadiums,” she said.

Catherine Fraser, landlady at the Ambassador Bar.

“It’s brilliant to see both clubs back in the premiership.

“The return of the Dundee derby was the talk of the pub on Monday.

“I’ve had this pub for¬† six years now and you miss the atmosphere of the pub on a derby¬† day.

“We’ll obviously be keeping an eye on the ongoing vaccine roll-out but it seems to be heading in the right direction, so we’ll see what happens come August.”

She added: “The big sides in the SPFL usually bring big away supports as well, so it will be great to welcome back these fans, on an almost weekly basis.

“This will have a positive impact on jobs, we’ll need more helpers on match days to cope with the demand.”

Challenging year

Dundee United fan and licensee of the Clep Bar, David Evans, was also happy to see the Dark Blues return after a “challenging” year for the hospitality sector.

David Evans said it was great to see Dundee FC fans back in the pub before their first-leg victory against Kilmarnock.

He said: “We had a lot of Dundee supporters in before the home-leg of the play-off last week, so we’ve already seen a positive impact of fans returning to the stadium.

“For that fixture, fans had to go at specific times to get into the ground, given the limited numbers and seating allocation.

“It will be interesting to see how that might develop come the start of next season but you could still see the buzz from the fans of getting to go back.

“They came in after the match as well, again it was great to see that returning, there was a few ‘boos’ when I told them we had to close at 10.30pm.

“As a United fan though, it’s great to see the derby’s back.

“After a shocking year for the license trade there will be many pubs around here delighted to be hopefully bustling on match days very soon.”

‘Added bonus’

Chris McKinlay, leaseholder of the Ellenbank Bar, on Alexander Street said he was also expecting a “positive impact” as Dundee returned to the Premiership.

He said: “We do have away supporters coming in especially from the bigger clubs like Hearts and Hibs.

Chris McKinlay.

“It has been a nightmare year for everyone, the hospitality sector has had it hard and it’s been great to be opened up again.

“This is an added bonus to have both clubs back in the top flight, obviously Covid-19 dependent it will be great to see the pub packed on these match days.

“There is great banter come the derby and we are really looking forward to having that back.”