The new Abandon Ship Bar, offering small plates, cocktails and shopping, is about to dock on Glasgow's Mitchell Street

This venue will operate as a bar, restaurant and merchandise shop

Published 25th Aug 2021
Updated 18 th Sep 2023

Those who’ve noticed a COMING SOON banner across the front of a huge property on Glasgow’s Mitchell Street may be keen to know about its new resident.

It’s Abandon Ship Bar, who will be opening their doors in the former premises of restaurant, So L.A., on September 17. (Scroll down for a first look).

Owned by Scottish entrepreneurs, Phil Donaldson, Richard Davies and AJ McMenemy, this won’t be any old pub. They’ve created a hybrid venue - also operating as a casual dining restaurant and retail space, which will be set across two floors of 150 sq metres in total. It will feature old-fashioned tattoo inspired artwork, including anchors and daggers, by Davies, as well as, outside, a pink sign by Edinburgh’s Solas Neon, that spells out, “Not everything sucks”.

Downstairs, there will be a merchandise shop, which will offer Abandon Ship Apparel. You’ll be able to pick up Hawaiian shirts, swim shorts, “beer belts” and T-shirts in their Dressing Room area. Upstairs, they'll be serving cocktails and craft beers alongside a menu of Americana-style small plates including burgers and Southern-style wings.

“With Abandon Ship Bar we are returning to our cultural home and our brand roots with our opening in Glasgow. Rich set up Abandon Ship Apparel in the East End of the city almost a decade ago, before we opened our first bar in Dundee in 2019”, says McMenemy. “This feels like our homecoming and we can’t wait to show Glasgow what we’re all about.”

McMenemy and Donaldson set up the group MacMerry 300 in 2010, and now own an empire of 14 hip venues across Scotland, including the original Abandon Ship Bar, which they describe on Instagram as a “fun and dumb bar for those who love art, good vibes and great drinks”. 

If the Glasgow bar is anything like the Dundee one, it’ll serve cocktails including Hawaiian Surfer on Acid, which contains Jagermeister, coconut rum and other fruity ingredients. There are also four other Dundonian hangouts, including cocktail bar and nightclub, Nola, and bar, Bird and Bear. They also have Glasgow’s The Bull, The Luchador and Fly South, among others. Later this year, the team will also be opening an Abandon Ship Bar in London’s Covent Garden.

43 Mitchell Street, Glasgow,

Custom neon sign

Gaby Soutar is a lifestyle editor at The Scotsman. She has been reviewing restaurants for The Scotsman Magazine since 2007 and edits the weekly food pages.
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