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New Glasgow venue Spiritualist bar set to open with over 300 spirits on offer

New Glasgow venue bar Spiritualist bar and restaurant is set to open, boasting one of Scotland’s biggest drinks lists – with over 300 spirits on the gantry.

Published: March 10, 2016
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A once derelict library in the heart of Glasgow’s Merchant City has been revived as one of Scotland’s coolest new bars, boasting the country’s most extensive bar gantry comprising 320 spirits and liqueurs.

Opening today [Friday 11th March], Spiritualist bar and restaurant, at 62 Miller Street, is the brainchild of renowned bar and restaurant operator Ryan Barrie and Jim Ballantyne, whose Camelot Catering Systems fitted out many of the city’s most stylish and well respected venues.

Both men have put “considerable investment” into the new venue. With the focus on high quality and affordable dining and drinking, every detail of the new bar and restaurant has benefited from the combined expertise of industry veterans Jim and Ryan.

Through an exclusive partnership with specialist distributor Hot Sauce, Spiritualist is able to offer Glasgow’s drinkers some of the world’s most prized drinks, from Louis XIII cognac to all three Fortaleza tequilas – one of only a handful of UK venues able to stock the entire range.

Spiritualist also offers the innovative “Buy a Tipple” service, in which customers are able to order a bottle of rare spirit and have it delivered to their door.

Ryan, who also operates the Citation taverne and restaurant on nearby Wilson Street, adds: “From Scottish malt whiskies and craft gins to some of the world’s most rare and sought-after brandies, tequilas and absinthe, we offer an unrivalled drinks list. We’ve even sourced a must-try range of small-batch and hard-to-source mezcals.

“Spiritualist is about offering a superb range of food and drink, at a fair and affordable price. We want to give people in Glasgow a unique drinking and dining experience; a grown-up experience; a night-out they’ll treasure.

“We also believe strongly in sourcing locally, which is why we have a superb selection of Scottish malt whiskies as well as some of the country’s best craft gins, including Harris, Rock Rose, Shetland Reel and Pickering’s.

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“Our beer list, sourced through a partnership with the Craft Beer Clan of Scotland, includes the likes of Fyne Ales, and Loch Ness and Inveralmond breweries. We also have the likes of Peroni, Williams Brothers and Belhaven on draught.”

The focus on locally sourced products also extends to Spiritualist’s contemporary breakfast, lunch and a la carte dining menus, with respected suppliers Bernard Corrigan, Braehead Foods and Simon Howie supplying the high-quality fish, game and meat.

Die-hard foodies will be delighted to learn that Spiritualist offers a unique and exclusive kitchen dining experience, where up to 10 guests will be able to enjoy a bespoke tasting menu, designed by executive chef Mark Stocks, who also manages the team of chefs at Citation.

Jim explains: “We’ve taken the fittings and look of the restaurant and reproduced it in part of the kitchen. You’ll be able to watch our kitchen team prepare the meals and have the chef serve it, within a very comfortable, intimate space in the heart of the kitchen. This isn’t an afterthought – our kitchen has been designed around this concept.”

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Though Ryan and Jim have worked together for more than 20 years, it is the first time the pair have opened a bar together.

Jim says: “Spiritualist has been years in the making. We wanted to do something special together but there were always other projects. For this – the venue, the investment, the idea, the team, the capital – everything came along at the right time.”

Ryan adds: “I want Spiritualist to be about giving something unique and brilliant back to my city. I want people to be proud of it, for it to become an institution. This is an amazing bar, with outstanding food, great value for money, brilliant staff and service, and an unrivalled offering of drinks. I genuinely can’t wait for people in Glasgow to see it.”

Spiritualist’s stylishly modern art deco look will talk especially to its Glaswegian customers. The flooring’s herring-bone motif is repeated on the walls, the light fittings, bar area and coat hooks. Artworks on the wall – one of which is a print of the world’s first negative – both express the venue’s art deco influence, but also have an eerie, other-worldy quality to them.

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Jim says: “We’ve invested heavily in Spiritualist, and people will be able to see and appreciate the quality and thought that’s gone into the detail – something that people in Glasgow are particularly in tune with.

“From the illuminated table-tops and coat hooks to the bespoke lighting and sound system, Spiritualist is focused on providing an outstanding customer experience. It’s the culmination of four decades’ expertise of opening and running bars, and we’re very, very proud of it. We’re looking forward to showing it off.”

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