Aberdeen bar McGinty’s Meal An’ Ale is set to host a massive celebration this weekend to mark 10 years in business.
The Union Street bar will welcome staff and customers past and present through its doors this Friday evening.
The celebrations will kick off at 7pm with live music from local musician, Barry Carroll, drink tasters from Brewdog and a gin showcase from House of Botanicals.
With complimentary nibbles on offer and DJ playing the tunes until late, The McGinty’s Group is looking forward to welcoming all customers, regulars and locals alike.
McGinty’s Group operations director Alan Aitken spoke to Society ahead of the event and told us what it was like to work in the bar on its very first opening weekend 10 years ago.
We hear you worked at the very first weekend when McGinty’s opened, how was it?
It was pretty mental to be honest. We did 140 covers for lunch alone and then went into a busy evening service. There was a great reception for it. As local well-known owners, we were well supported so we had a lot of people in that weekend. It was a cracking time and we had a queue at the door on the Sunday morning when we were opening at 11am.
What was your role at the time?
I joined the team to help re-launch and run McGinty’s, following more than 20 years of experience in the trade. As the group has expanded, as did my role as Operations Director with additional venues to look after, but I don’t think we really knew how big the group would grow.
I think if you’d said to us 10 years ago that we would be operating multiple venues including one of the finest seafood restaurants in the north-east, a great West End bar and restaurant, fantastic family venues in The Ferryhill House Hotel and The Fourmile, we’d have been in shock.
Are you trying to recreate that weekend with this 10 year anniversary shindig?
Absolutely. We’ve contacted former staff to share some of their memories and we’ve got some actually travelling from all over Scotland to come to the event. We’ve got some of our old DJs and regular customers who have been with us since the start coming along too, so it’s sure to be a fun evening.
How has McGinty’s changed over the years?
I think it’s just moved with the current trends. We refurbished at the beginning of 2017 to expand the bar gantry, specifically as gin is the big thing, we made a conscious effort to make that a big offering of McGinty’s.
It’s always been a traditional bar, especially food wise. You know you’re going to get a cracking Scottish hearty meal when you visit. Sport has always been a big thing for McGinty’s too – especially rugby and football.
What can people expect from Friday night?
There’s going to be a real buzz and the atmosphere will be just brilliant. There will be lots of laughs and a lot of stories shared too which I’m looking forward to. There will be lots of people and plenty of complimentary nibbles. There will be drinks and live music, as well as a DJ so it’s set to be a great night for everyone. We’re really looking forward to it and celebrating with everyone.
What is your favourite memory from over the years?
That’s a really difficult question. There’s been so many highlights over the years for McGinty’s and the group in general.
Following success of McGinty’s, we moved on to regenerating The Stag which was a really big one for me and we’ve totally lifted the area.
Transforming No.10 Bar & Restaurant into the success it is has been amazing and to see it continue more than three years on is fantastic. The Silver Darling has been growing from strength to strength since we took it over around 16 months ago now and both sites have secured a national awards which is a very proud moment for us all.
What’s next for McGinty’s Group?
It’s all about the Esslemont & McIntosh building we’ve taken on. I’ll be extremely busy working on this site and getting it operating to a high standard. It’s a very exciting time for us with the new premises.