AN ADOPTED Bankie admits living and working in Clydebank helped him on the road to success after he turned a faltering Glasgow bar into an award-winning pub in just 18 months.

Brian Carnochan was celebrating last week after his boozer the Grant Arms took home a shock Gold Award at the Best Bar None Ceremony at the Grand Central Hotel.

The national awards recognise venues with a strong focus on public safety and customer care with the Argyle Street establishment taking the top prize.

And Brian, 51, insists the triumph coming so soon after he took charge and at the first time of entering is evidence he was right to purchase the lease when the chance arose a year and a half ago.

Speaking exclusively to the Clydebank Post, he said: “We’ve been trying to reinvigorate it, bring it up to higher standards.

“And, for the first time entering, to get a gold award is really good.”

Brian has worked in bars since his early twenties and has pulled pints in Glasgow as well as in the legendary Clydebank shipbuilder's social hub the Boilermakers Club before it was demolished in 2010.

He also worked behind the bar at the pub he now runs, serving punters on and off at the Grant Arms for the last 20 years.

Clydebank Post: Brian admitted his shock at winning a Gold AwardBrian admitted his shock at winning a Gold Award (Image: Supplied)

It’s why he had no fears about moving into the bar-owning business, despite the challenges faced by the hospitality sector in a post-COVID-19 world and during a cost-of-living crisis.

“I didn’t see it as a risk, I saw it as an opportunity,” Brian added.

“It was about getting customers back into the bar and putting on entertainment.

“We have our Tuesday club, we’ve got music on a Wednesday, Friday, Saturday Sunday.

“So, it is putting things on for customers to come into the bar.

“I am very much of the opinion that if you put something on, people will come in.”

Brian revealed the first thing he did when he took over was give the Grant Arms set opening times, explaining there were no standard operating hours before his stewardship.

And he explained he shut the bar in January 2023 to give the customer area a complete revamp in the hope of shedding the pub of its ‘rough boozer’ notoriety.

Brian continued: “If people actually come into the Grant Arms, they will see its reputation isn’t warranted.

“One of the first things that we did was put in Sky TV again so that anybody looking in can see that there is a bit of life in the bar.

“We put in a jukebox and have free play nights.

“Before I bought it, there was an Alexa in the corner playing some music.

“It’s just about giving the bar a different atmosphere and making it more and more inviting.”

Brian – who before owning the Glasgow pub worked at Clydebank Estate and Letting Agents – will again shut up shop in January 2024 to bring the bar ‘up-to-date'.

And he believes in 2024 he will take a step back from the day-to-day running of the business, even though he is still very much a ‘hands-on’ boss.

He finished: “At the moment I am still doing the Saturday karaoke, but I am hoping to transition away from that next year.

“But yeah, I pull the pints, or do the stock take, I am 100 per cent involved in the running of the business.”