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Underworld (Glasgow)

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95 Union Street, Glasgow G1. tel = 0141 2215020

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      20.04.2001 03:37
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      This isn’t Mike Baldwin’s factory from Corrie. It isn’t a gangland hide out. There is no relation to the Born Slippy dance act. Instead, Underworld is a pub situated in Glasgow’s Union Street and is one of the city’s best kept secrets - until now. I suppose to describe Underworld as a pub is almost derogatory as it is much more than that. Yes it sells alcohol but it also serves some gorgeous Mediterranean style food and has an in-house DJ who plays everything from garage and trance to the 70s classics. This gives it an almost club type atmosphere and it is not unusual to see some punters attempting to dance. I say "attempting" because there isn’t a designated dance floor and thus there isn’t much room to boogie as the place is always quite busy. As I have already mentioned, Underworld is situated on Union Street and the entrance is next door to Central Station. Apart from the two bouncers on the door you may well walk buy it because, although there is a sign saying Underworld, it just looks like an ordinary doorway. Don’t be put off by the doormen’s scowling faces as they are actually quite human and have even been known to crack a joke on the odd occasion. Like many city centre pubs and clubs, they can be quite strict about identification so if you look in any way younger than eighteen then it is best to take your passport or any other form of photographic ID with you just in case. Upon entering the building, you are faced with an impressive staircase with a long flight of stairs. Unfortunately these are winding stairs so you need to be very careful that you do not end up flat on your face if you have had a bit to drink. Luckily it is quite wide and has a sturdy handrail and many people make it to the bottom unharmed. Once downstairs you have entered The Underworld which, at first glance actually looks quite small with a long bar along the b
      ack wall. However, there are quite a few seats and tables scattered to the far right and there is a large, almost separate eating area that is lit by candlelight and serves the wonderful Mediterranean type meals that I spoke of earlier. The furnishings are plain and the decor and lighting attempts to emphasise the underground theme. There are some very unusual paintings on the wall surrounded by iron bars which sounds strange but actually looks quite good. Above the bar is the slogan "Just for the hell of it" and a large blackboard lists the nights drink promotions. Due to the lack of windows the place is only ever artificially lit and illuminations are kept to a minimum which helps to create the club type atmosphere that I mentioned before. As for the drink promotions I have to say that these are very impressive. When I was a student I was infamous for being able to recite what drink promotion was on each night as this was one of my favourite haunts due to the low prices. However, Underworld is not a student pub as such and attracts a range of clientele. Thursday nights are traditionally student nights in Glasgow and thus admittedly, the majority of punters are students. However, if you were to visit it early on a Friday evening (6-7pm) there would be many business people popping in for a quick drink to celebrate the end of the working week. As the night wears on, there is a good mix of people from the aforementioned office workers and students to the hard core clubber. Saturday nights have a slightly different blend of people as Underworld is regarded as a good pre-club hang out and thus most people are wanting to get as many drinks in before they head off to clubs such as The Tunnel, Archaos or The nearby Cathouse. As such, expect a lot of skimpy outfits, high heels and people "on the pull." Sunday nights are a bit more relaxed and you will find many people quite casually dressed so don’t be scared
      to turn up in a pair of jeans as you will not feel out of place. The atmosphere each night is very different and the DJ selects tracks to complement the mood of the punters. As such Friday and Saturday nights are quite "dancey" whereas Sundays are more mellow. You can also ask for requests to be played but expect to wait quite a while on busy nights as you will be unable to attract the attention of the DJ who hides above the left hand side of the bar. The bar staff are very friendly and efficient and, on the whole, there are quite a lot of them so you don’t have to wait too long to get served. They also have quite a good sense of humour and, although there isn’t time to talk much to the customers, they do like to have a bit of a laugh. [Girls please note: There is a very gorgeous barman who works there so even if you aren’t enjoying yourself, there is at least something good to look at!] Sounds like the perfect pub, eh? Well it sure is quite close anyway! My only gripe about it is that it doesn’t serve Smirnoff Ice for some reason. I suppose I am just nitpicking now because with Vodka and Lemonade being sold at £1.50 (or as little as £1 on some nights) I would be buying that instead anyway. But, as regular readers of my reviews will know, I *have* to find at least one thing to moan about and this time I can’t even complain about Underworld’s toilets because they are clean, bright and have about six or seven cubicles (well I can only comment on the Ladies). So the next time you are in Glasgow City Centre, you might want to pop in for a quick drink. Hey, if you have a spare £1.50, you could even buy me one!!

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