Whether you want to relax in the snug with a glass of scotch, watch a rugby game at the bar with friends, or listen to the resident bagpiper, the Scotch Corner Pub will transport you across the pond to Scotland. Maggie and Robert Pitkethly, along with their son, Ben and his wife, Annette, opened the pub December 17th. The Pitkethlys, who are from St. Andrews, Scotland, have brought a traditional Scottish pub to Colorado. Maggie said, "For us it really is bringing a bit of Scotland here."
They want their pub to have a community atmosphere for their patrons. "We're trying to create a home [away] from home so they don't want to go home and cook and they have fun and get entertained at the same time," said Maggie. They have succeeded.
The pub is located at Broadway and Walnut and is open and bright. It has tables at which European seating is an option, a bar with a flat screened television, and a snug that includes comfortable chairs in which to lounge and watch passers by. The walls are covered with paintings of St. Andrews golf course and portraits of famous Scots such as Robert Burns, a poet laureate of Scotland and Bonnie Prince Charlie who took the Scots to battle against the English. The television in the bar broadcasts popular Scottish sports such as golf, rugby and soccer, as well as travel DVDs showing Scottish castles.
"It's a new style pub as opposed to an old world pub," said Ben. The pub, though bright, open and modern rather than dark like the older pubs of Scotland, still has an authentically Scottish ambiance. "We wanted to make it Scottish but still appealing to a wider range. Because this is a modern building, we had to make use of the space; it's contemporary, it's fun." Maggie said the pub resembles the modern pubs in Scotland's cosmopolitan capital of Edinburgh.
"I want a friendly, fun, happy gathering place. Simple home cooking done well, that's all we offer," said Maggie. The food and beverage menus are distinctively Scottish. The cuisine includes such items as Scottish broth, toasties, sausage rolls, and mash (mashed potatoes) with seven different types of gravy. They also offer Scotch eggs, one of their signature dishes, which are boiled eggs wrapped in sausage meat, rolled in bread crumbs, fried, baked and sliced in half. The average price of an appetizer is $5.95 and the average price of an entrée is $13.95. The pub also offers chicken, vegetarian and steak and ale pies that serve six people, and a Scottish breakfast that is served all day.
Another unique characteristic of the Scotch Corner Pub is its vegan kitchen. In other words, the fries are not fried in the same oil as the chicken. Maggie, who is a vegetarian, wanted to offer more vegetarian options to the public. Additionally everything on the menu is made with organic ingredients.
Two Scottish brews top their list of popular beers: Bell Haven, brewed in Scotland since the 1700s and Tennent's, brewed since the 1800s. "Bell Haven outsells everything," said Ben. The pub also offers 45 different kinds of single malt scotch and several types of blended scotch. "I'm always searching for weird and wonderful ones," said Ben. Their scotch represents every region of Scotland. They have Bunnahabhain from the Isle of Islay, Tobermory from the Isle of Mull, Glenmorangie from the North Highlands, Oban from the West Highlands, Dalwhinnie from the East Highlands and Glankinchie from the Lowlands, to name a few.
Live musicians are regular fixtures at the Scotch Corner Pub and usually play during happy hour, which is 4:00pm to 7:00pm daily. Live music ranges from Celtic, to bluegrass, to reggae, to Sunday afternoon jazz. Wednesday night is open session night, during which people can bring their guitars to the pub and play.
"It's a community pub where people are caring for each other. Women can come in here alone and feel safe and feel part of the family. That's a favorite for me," said Maggie, "We're getting so many regulars now and it's wonderful. It's like we've known them forever."