Wednesday, October 11, 2023


One of the Jack Russells is at the front door when I come down the stairs. She is a rather quiet eight year old lady who likes to start her day with a tickle and a biscuit. She has got into the habit of visiting us on her morning outing. She cleverly leaves Puppy and her eldest sister to go chasing after the crows in the wheat field so that she can , for a few moments at least, be the centre of attention.

The shock news this morning is that Tiger Woods and Justin Timberlake are considering buying the cinema and turning it into an American style sports bar: . The first of their sports bars has just opened in New York and St.Andrews, somewhat improbably, would be the next roll out. Angus is slightly ambivalent as to whether this would, or would not , make a positive addition to the town. In the summer it will be full of high rolling golfers and in winter the student population will keep it on the right side of profitable. If Angus was five years younger he'd consider opening up a decent wine bar in what was the old Salvation Army Hall ( Citadel ?) which in its most recent incarnation has been a lack lustre Scandinavian style restaurant. The building has no neighbours and is directly opposite the library so foot fall would be constant. 'The Font' thinks Angus would drink the profits and that the students idea of a wine bar is somewhere for a glass of sulphurous Pinot Grigio rather than a refined Pomerol.

Two swimmers in the open air pool below the castle. What brave souls !

Workmen already busy checking the stonework on one of the cathedral towers. Health and Safety are now hard at work making sure the ruins don't disgorge any masonry onto unsuspecting passers by.

There were staircases that ran up the inside of the towers. The route for medieval masons to get to the roof. Todays job is to make sure that the inside of the staircases remains secure. 'Never a dull moment in this job' says a man in an orange hard hat. 

Down at ground level a box covering some of the original floor tiles.

Student flu has arrived in town :


WFT Nobby said...

I just love the Weeks 1 and 2 film. Well worth watching to the end, the milk experience took me right back to 1977! (Although in those days the 'who stole the top of the milk cream?' was also an issue).
I'm wondering if the new students are aware that they've probably already made precious bonds that will last a lifetime.
But Angus, I'm not sure if wine bars are even a thing still with the younger generations. Perhaps one of your readers with offspring in their late twenties could advise?
Cheers, Gail.

Angus said...

WFT - I'm told that listening bars are the latest incarnation of the wine bar as seen here - Same concept different packaging.

Travel said...

Seems like an unusual business partnership, Justin and Tiger. The students would be looking for the $2-per glass specials, you probably wouldn't use those to wipe out a bird cage (my opinion of Jim Beam bourbon.) The tourist bureau should link to your blog.

Stephanie said...

The quiet and wise Jack Russell looks like a sweetheart.

jabblog said...

I like the mental image of the ruins disgorging masonry . . .

Lisa in France said...

Nice to see the big sister today - she does seem quietly pleased. I wish I could recall the details of our visit to the cathedral. I remember climbing, but where? The news about Tiger Woods and Justin Timberlake is also quite interesting. Maybe all those visiting American golfers you've described would welcome an American style sports bar?

rottrover said...

I don't get the sports bar concept. It seems to be catering only to the ultra wealthy out of towners and not the community. It's a little different project than buying Wrexham Football Club which appears to have infused life back into a very depressed city.

Love the JRT. I understand that you are waiting for your return from your trip to the US (in October?) to get a new doggy. Aside from a rescue, any thoughts as to type??

Angus said...

Lisa in France - Guess Vegas might have seemed a more likely location for what's planned than a little town by the North Sea. There again the bar won't face that much competition for all those golfing $$$

paphosmuseum said...

I'm still swimming outdoors twice a week- 80 miles north of you. Just saying.

The Life of Riley said...

“The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is now.” - Chinese Proverb.

Being five years younger is nothing! Don’t let your age stop you from opening a wine bar, even if you and The Font eventually employ others to manage it.

You could call your wine bar “Wine Ed” which is short for “Wine Education 101” as the old Salvation Army Hall seems like the perfect location for students, visiting parents, locals, and tourists exploring the university to “learn more about wine”.

Open only four or five days a week, including Friday and Saturday. Educate your “students” with a menu of wine by the glass, as well as courses aka flights of wine (i.e.4 tasting glasses on a display paddle), offer “night classes” on different wine topics, decorate your bar with wine paraphernalia (e.g. books, photos of vineyards, prints of famous wine quotes, etc), provide an email newsletter (you already know how to write!) and offer a menu with price points from cheap rough as guts plonk to ridiculously expensive with the aim to educate everyone who visits your and “The Fonts” bar with a better knowledge of what good wine tastes like as they expand their usual choices, and move through the wine offerings, to find what they like best! Also offer alcohol-free wines (there is a lot to learn there!) and really good coffee. Plus, you could even host a monthly wine bar pub quiz with questions only about wine, with wine or vochers as prizes, to attract teams of students.

For food, instead of a full restaurant style menu, “The Font” has so many skills so could design a better than bar snacks menu of platters, small dishes of interesting food, and offer bowls of single flavours (think berries, chocolate, salty (perhaps including large bowls of hot salted chips as your “loss leader” aka keep the students eating between wines), figs, interesting cheeses, etc to taste and attempt to match with their chosen wines.

As for drinking the profits, I’m sure a creative accountant could find a tax write off for any sampling or quality control checks you do so your and The Font’s days could be spent enjoying your passions, talking to all sorts of “characters”, and your combined main legacy to St Andrews would be students and others leaving St Andrews knowing much more about what makes a great wine which they truly enjoy, than when they first arrived.

A very long post from me, but if it is something you have dreamt about and want, then now is the time to open your wine bar! Cheers.

Lizzie said...

Yes, thank you Angus for reminding us of the beauty of small things and of people going about their usual routines in the face of such horror. I needed some perspective.