Six lost Aberdeen pubs and clubs you'll remember

Gone but not forgotten: a pick of some of the most famous lost Aberdeen pubs and clubs you’ll remember.

Published 5th May 2017
Updated 20 th Sep 2023

It has been claimed that Aberdeen is the 'pub capital of the UK', and, indeed, the Granite City has never been short of watering holes.

Famous for its nightlife, it's worth taking a look into what gave the town its lofty reputation.

We take a look back on some of Aberdeen's hotspots back in the day - from everyone's favourite grotty howfs to questionably situated nightclubs next to the city beach.


(Belmont Street)

Punters flocked to Radar's in the 1980s for an authentic American diner experience. Picture: Press & Journal

For many Aberdonians, Radar's on Belmont Street was the first American diner-style bar they had ever set foot in.

A hugely-popular establishment in the 1980s, the downstairs diner was the place to be if you were in dire need of a good scran.

Particularly memorable was Radar's signature sweet corn and cucumber relish and milkshakes to die for.

The bar was also regarded as a prime dating spot, with many an Aberdeen couple able to trace the origin of their relationship to the Belmont Street bar.

Radar's is now the Aberdeen City Centre Hotel and Siberia vodka bar.

The Schooner Bar

(Guild Street)

Customers have a drink in the Schooner bar in Aberdeen. Pic John McFarlane/Northscot

The Schooner Bar which could be found opposite the well-kent Criterion Bar (also since closed) on 2 Guild Street in Aberdeen was situated near the harbour and, according to locals, was open 24 hours.

This was a common watering hole for anyone coming off the night shift and looking for something to drink in those awkward 'wee hours' of the morning.

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Packed with people such as nurses who were looking for somewhere to unwind with at the end of a tough shift, the old bar provided easy access to local punters due to its prime city-centre location near Union Street.

The south side of Guild Street, which included the Schooner, was demolished in the late 2000s to make way for the Union Square development.

Jumping Jak's

(Union Street)

Jumping Jak's was converted from a former cinema. Picture: Google Maps

Jumping Jak's in Aberdeen also used to be a popular site for weekends when locals were looking to let loose.

The club itself had a fairly garish look inside and had been converted in 2003 from a 1930s art deco cinema, The Capitol, into the night time venue.

Apparently known for playing 'cheesy' music on weekends the club attracted a fair crowd but was accused of being repetitive. Jumping Jak's closed in 2008.

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The Aberdeen Arms

(North West Street)

The Aberdeen Arms was affectionately known as the 'Hairy Arms'. Picture Aberdeen City Council

The Aberdeen Arms bar, fondly known as 'The Hairy Bar' could be found on North West Street in Aberdeen.

The photo above features Robert Fergus Abercrombie (senior) - the bar owner and on the left and beside him his son Robert (junior).

The picture was taken in 1947 and the sturdy wooden panels of the bar feature within the image.

The old haunt was an 'L shaped' bar and was situated below pavement level next to the bus stop on Farrier Lane.

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(Queens Links Leisure Park)

Amadeus was the biggest nightclub in the whole of Scotland. Picture: Press & Journal

Amadeus club was precariously placed next to the beach in Aberdeen.

If you were to visit the building now (which has become a shop) you can imagine the scope of the warehouse-sized club. At the time it was the biggest nightclub in Scotland with a massive dance floor.

Thursday nights were a 70s night and the entire club was only on the one level – complete with its very own burger bar.

The club also had many student nights including foam parties and buses came to and from the night club to the city centre making it much more easily accessible to the public.

The nightclub was the biggest in Scotland when it opened in 1997 with space for 2,000 clubbers in five themed bars.

The premises lay empty for ten years before being converted for retail use.

Peep Peeps

(Commerce Street)

Peep Peep's bar was run by the legendary, no-nonsense publican Chris Cummings. Picture: Copyright Ewen Rennie

Peep Peeps was a bar which closed in Aberdeen after notoriously being called the 'toughest pub' in Aberdeen.

The pub gained world-wide recognition when a video about it on YouTube became a hit online.

To date the video has 1,731,127 views due to the nature of the figures featured in the video who have a blasé attitude to the interview - cursing left right and centre.

Landlord Chris Cummings was known for being tough and made sure that “pimps and prostitutes” stayed off his premises due to the situation of the pub near the harbour of Aberdeen.

Chris was clear in stating that the pub was not a ”posh up-market place” saying there was no need to refurbish the place and change its infamous atmosphere of grit and character.

Following the death of landlord Chris Cummings, Peep Peeps was put up for sale in 2013.

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