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Cheers to the beers: Do you remember these classic Dundee pubs?

Chequers pub in the Nethergate is one of the classic pubs being remembered ahead of the easing of lockdown restrictions in Dundee.
Chequers pub in the Nethergate is one of the classic pubs being remembered ahead of the easing of lockdown restrictions in Dundee.

Cheers to the easing of lockdown that is seeing Dundee’s pubs getting ready to open their doors and gardens again to customers.

From April 26, hospitality can operate in Level 3 restrictions, meaning restaurants, cafes, pubs and bars can open indoors and outdoors until 6pm.

Hopefully, it won’t be long until Dundee is once again one of the unrivalled places in the country for nightspots and great evenings on the town.

But instead of travelling into the future, let’s go back in time.

We’ve had a dig through the DC Thomson archives to find some classic Dundee pubs from yesteryear including some that are no longer with us.

How many of these did you used to drink in?

Hansom Cab

The Hansom Cab, on the corner of Seagate and Commercial Street, had a reputation for being a haven for underage drinking in the 1970s. The pub is still there today as the rebranded Tickety Boo’s.


Foreigners Bar in Meadowside was geared up to cater for a wide range of customers. The pub was famous for its salad rolls and was popular with office workers, shoppers and couples during the day. The vibe changed after 8pm when the rock music was turned up on the jukebox. There was also live music on a Sunday night and Thin Lizzy frontman Phil Lynott once popped in for a drink before a Caird Hall gig.


The image of Sinatra adorned virtually every wall in the Dundee pub with a choice of cocktails with such titles as My Way and Strangers in the Night. Sinatra’s remained popular for almost three decades before closing in 2011 and plans were approved in 2016 to turn the club into 12 high-end flats.

No.10 Lounge

Customers enjoy a drink in the new patio garden of Dundee’s No.10 Lounge in South Tay Street back in 1985. The bar was opposite The Rep and has undergone several name changes and is now the second of Innis and Gunn’s drinking and dining spots.

Swan Tavern

The Swan Tavern stood at the junction of the Overgate and Barrack Street before it was knocked down in 1963. Our picture shows the pub in a semi-demolished state with just the frontage of the pub still standing. The Dundee Photographic and Cine Centre can be seen in the background.

The Jimmy Shand

The iconic pub in Menzieshill was named after the former miner from Fife who went on to become known as the King of Scottish Dance Music. The pub opened in the 1960s with its own social club before closing in 2011. The building slowly fell into a state of disrepair and became an eyesore before it was knocked down to make way for housing.

Fairway Bar

The Fairway at Birkdale Place near the Downfield Golf Course was described as ‘one of the largest and best decorated public houses in the north of Scotland’.

The Windmill Bar

The Windmill Bar on Hilltown – which had a reputation for being “a bit rough” – stood at the corner of Ann Street for 200 years. Actor and comedian Robin Williams also visited the pub several times during appearances at the Edinburgh Festival in the early 1970s, before he was famous. Williams, who died in 2014, described the Hilltown pub as a rough diamond, but full of characters. The pub was demolished in 1999.


A busy scene in Smugglers Bar in 1981. The bar in Constable Street was closed following a regeneration of the area. Its name lives on however after the Northeastern Bar on Princes Street changed its name to the Smugglers a few years ago.


The old Cactusville Bar on Castle Street was known for its many mirrors. The pub is pictured in 1982 and is now Madigan’s Tea Room and Book Shop.

The Bread

The Breadalbane Arms on Constitution Road was known as The Bread. The building has since been knocked down and the space is part of Abertay University.

Claverhouse Bar

Three men huddle outside the old Claverhouse Bar in Old Glamis Road in this picture from 1959. The pub closed in the 1990s.

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