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Old Glasgow Pubs by john gorevan


Charlie Parker's.

21 Exchange Square, Glasgow.


Charlie Parkers

Charlie Parker's. 1990s.

Charlie Parker's was thee most modern and trendy place in town to be see, all the poser's were seen in here. It is now award winner Di Maggio's, a family run business since 1983, having 8 premises throughout the city and beyond.

Another Charlie Parker's opened up in Maxwell Street later on, but it was short lived.

exterior view of Charlie Parkers Exchange Square 1970s.

Another image of Charlie Parkers from the 70s.

This was originally called the Gay Gordon.

Gay Gordon 1970 advert

The Gay Gordon re-opens after alterations. 1970.


Gay Gordon advert 1970

The Gay Gordon Advert 1970.


In the News 1971...

The Gay Gordon Steps Out Afresh.

The Gay Gordon restaurant in Royal Exchange Square, Glasgow, has long had a high reputation among the gourmets of Glasgow.

Then one night fire struck in the premises above the restaurant. By the time the last fireman left the scene the Gay Gordon, though not affected at all by flames, was like a swimming pool. The carpets, tartan drapes, and furniture were all ruined.

While mopping up operations got under way some of the staff were asked to take an early holiday, while others were transferred to other places within the Scottish and Newcastle group. In just three weeks parts of the restaurant were able to reopen, thanks largely to the perseverance of manager Mr. Chan Thacker.

"The biggest problem was in getting new carpets and material. It is specially woven for us in the Gordon tartan, and we had to wait while this was done." The carpet is now down, the restaurant opens officially today, and the tartan covers the walls.

Gay Gordon regulars won't notice any startling changes about the place, although the cocktail bar has been made "more comfortable" and the menu has become more adventurous. Head chef Peter Leitner hails from Austria. He's been at the Gay Gordon for about five months, and he is introducing a supplementary menu which will include many new dishes, some of them from his own country.

Chan Thacker manager 1971

Manager Mr. Chan Thacker. 1971.

Also new are the "gastronomic trolleys" from which food will be served by white gloved waiters. And a special thought has been given to the many business executives who eat at the popular rendezvous, portable telephones can be plugged in next to their table so that urgent calls can be received during lunch.


In the News September 1971...

The Gay Gordon restaurant in Glasgow is going gay again next month.

It's a long time since they last featured cabaret, and they start again with comedian Lance Percival on stage for three nights. Lance, who travels about 15,000 miles a year doing cabaret, will be at the Gay Gordon on the evenings of October 14, 15 and 16.

In the past the entertainment in the restaurant has been held in the main dining room, but on these dates will be staged in the upstairs suite. Lance will be the first of well-known artists to appear there, although so far no definite bookings have been made.


In the News 1972...

Gay Show

It's been quite a week because the other night I was along at the Gay Gordon in Royal Exchange Square to take in their floor show. On stage were Brain Marley and his team of girl dancers. Despite the fact that they are working on pretty limited space they make it a real production and I thoroughly enjoyed their James Bond routine. They have still another couple of weeks to run at the Gay Gordon. There is no cover charge for the floor show. You pay for your meal and that is it. Mind you the food isn't exactly cheap, but it's good.

Mr Thacker 1972

From Glasgow to Surrey

Chandrakant Himatlal Thacker (40), who was awarded a Physics degree by Edinburgh University but then decided on a career in the hotel industry, has been appointed manager of the Thistle Hotel Group's Chequers Hotel, at Horley, Surrey.

He takes up his appointment from the Gay Gordon Restaurant, Royal Exchange Square, Glasgow, where he was been manager for the past three years. Previously Mr. Thacker, who was born in Nairobi, held appointments in Peebles Hydro, the Eglinton Arms Hotel, Eaglesham, and the MacDonald Hotel, Glasgow.


In the News 1973...

The Gay Gordon Restaurant in Royal Exchange Square, Glasgow, is back in the cabaret business from Monday night. They start off with three attractive lasses who go under the name The Honeybirds.

I've caught their act several times. They look good, harmonise well, and, with some lovely costumes, are very easy on the eyes. The girls are all semi-professional entertainers, although you'd hardly believe it when you see them working on stage.

They are there all next week, and are followed by Mal Hollander. Mal is well known in cabaret, clubland, and in theatre, and, incidentally, is one of my own personal favourite entertainers.

He plays a pretty good round of golf too, having a handicap of 6. Mal will be on stage for a week too, then we have the return of dancers and arranger Bryan Marley for for a 10 week season. Bryan, who recruits his dancers from Scotland, is bringing a new team of lovelies with him for the Glasgow date complete with new costumes. Her is in Athens at present appearing in cabaret.

This will be his third visit to the Gay Gordon, so a lot of his fans will be looking forward to the new season. Resident group at the restaurant are the Caribbean Trio with the lovely Margaret Brawley singing the songs.

In the NEWS 1974...

Chez Gordon advert 1974

Chez Gordon, wine bar advert 1974.


In the NEWS 1975...

Chez Gordon advert 1975

Chez Gordon advert 1975.


In the NEWS 1977...

The city pub where you need a special card to get a drink..

A Glasgow pub, opened only four weeks ago after an Evening Times investigation.

Police and licensing court officials are to interview the management of Charlie Parker's in Exchange Square after we revealed that it is being run on the lines of a private club.

Potential customers arriving at the former Chez Gordon building are told they require a special card before being admitted to the lavishly decorated pub.

Following a batch of complaints a colleague and I visited the pub, which is run by Mr Ken McCulloch. We too were told by two doormen we would require a card. When we asked them how we could obtain a ticket we were told that a committee meeting is held once a month when all applications are considered.


But the management attitude at the pub named after one of the greatest jazz saxophone players of all time, has struck a sour note with the licensing authorities.

Baillie Gerald McGrath who serves on the licensing court, said today - "This is a direct contravention of the law. A public house must be open to the public and the management must have a reasonable excuse for refusing entry.

"The failure to have a card of any sort is not a reasonable excuse." Baillie David Hodge, who serves on the same court, said that if necessary they could have an emergency meeting to discuss whether or not the pub's licence should be withdrawn.

He said - "I will be checking up on this today. They cannot refuse entry with this excuse of a card. They must be prepared to serve the public. And that means the public - not their selected clients."

Glasgow District Licensing Committee chairman Robert Gray said -"This is a piece of nonsense. They are setting this place up as a private club. "All private clubs have to be approved by a Sheriff. Charlie Parker's management are being high-handed."

At the District Council's legal department a spokesman confirmed that Charlie Parker's was granted a public house licence with normal conditions attached. He said - "They cannot refuse admission on the grounds that you don't have a card."

Superintendent Martin Dale, of Strathclyde police, who deals with liquor licences, said he will be investigating complaints.


Mr Ken McCulloch claimed today the cards were to prove the age of customers.

Mr McCulloch said -"This place took me four years to develop and I consider it one of the best cocktail bars in Britain. It is exclusive and it will remain that way. "There are other bars in Glasgow which refuse entry without even giving an excuse."

Charlie Parker's is not the cheapest of howffs in the city but it is certainly one of the most tastefully decorated. Barmen in black three-piece suits and striped black-and-white shirts serve a range of cocktails, some of which cost over £1.

The chef, who has served in some of London's top hotels, prepares meals to order for customers visiting the rear restaurant. Downstairs a wide list of wines are available in the French restaurant.

Centre piece of the pub is a metal sculpture of Charlie Parker.

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