Malones in Aberdeen has been named as the best sports bar in Scotland – so what is it that makes the Irish pub deserving of the title?
According to manager Keith Martin, showing all types of sports and offering live music is key to the Shiprow venue’s success.
Mr Martin oversees the pub, whose general manager is Paddy McCrossan, and told The P&J that sport and music go “hand in hand” at Malones.
The pub, which opened in 2009, airs “everything” from Scottish Premiership football to Gaelic football, athletics and hurling to Formula 1, boxing and UFC.
It also sponsors Aberdeen University’s Gaelic football team.
Malones offers live music seven days a week, with local talent booked up to a year in advance.
Mr Martin is from Westmeath in Ireland, and has lived in Aberdeen since moving to the Granite City as a student over 20 years ago.
He told The P&J: “We’re delighted to hear it and be recognised, as we put in so much effort with seven nights worth of entertainment.”
Aberdeen fan ‘misunderstanding’ hasn’t stopped Dons fans going to Malones
And the pub, which first opened in 2009, remains as busy as ever with Dons fans – despite recent controversy.
In August, some Aberdeen fans claimed they were denied entry to Malones after the club’s 3-1 defeat to Celtic.
A few also claimed they were told it was a Celtic pub, despite not wearing the colours of any club – leading to a small number of supporters calling for a boycott of the venue.
At the time, Malones insisted all fans were welcome on the day, and that it was standard practice to deny entry to customers for a short period when dealing with an incident.
Discussing the reaction of Aberdeen fans since August’s “misunderstanding”, Mr Martin said “this was never not a bar for all supporters” and that it “hasn’t affected our regular Aberdeen support”.
He added: “We’ve been full after all the home games, the same as we were since 2009.”
Both of the venue’s bars will be open for Aberdeen’s Europa Conference League away tie in Greece against PAOK on Thursday night, with it being “full” for the home match against the same opposition on October 27.
Mr Martin said: “We hope to get the same turnout again for this one.
“Onwards and upwards to get some cups back in Aberdeen.”
How was Scotland’s best sports bar decided?
Malones came out on top of a study by electrical retailer Currys, which ranked over 3,700 pubs across the UK.
Coming in first place north of the border and 16th UK-wide, the criteria included:
- The average price of a pint in the area
- The number of screens, as well as the availability of a big screen
- Anti-social behaviour figures in the postcode area