The Lane, Paisley, Scotland

Opening a new drinking hole in Paisley is always a risky business.

You’d think that ‘Scotland’s biggest town’ would be able to sustain a million pubs. But with Glasgow city centre just an eight minute train ride away, Buddies stream out of Paisley all too often.

So the trick to making a success of a new joint in Paisley is to do something different. And The Lane is nothing if not different. Locals might remember the Shuttle Street venue as its previous incarnation, Suburbia, which was laid out like a cobbled lane with various small pubs at either side.

The Lane follows that theme, but introduces an impressive food offering to the mix. With a large bar/restaurant called The Ginger Slug up one flank and an American-style diner at the rear called Kerbside, The Lane appeals to families as well as seasoned drinkers.

A small, serving hatch prosecco bar called Fizzy’s is a nice touch and a private function room offers some exclusivity for large groups who book ahead.

That cobbled street effect left over from Suburbia remains and undoubtedly adds a unique element to this place. Shuttle Street itself is an attractive little road and The Lane’s interior makes you feel like you’ve simply walked into a different street…but out of the inevitable pissing rain.

The Ginger Slug was our first port of call and I was immediately impressed that they had the holy water that is Pabst Blue Ribbon on tap.

We took a seat at one of Kerbside’s ‘outside’ tables on the cobbled lane and looked at the menu. As we’d already eaten, we didn’t order food but the menu looks brilliant and we’ll definitely be back for a feed sometime soon.

Welcoming door staff and a lovely bar crew ensured the positive first impressions didn’t turn to disappointment.

The Lane has brought a touch of class to the town and is already a must-visit spot if you’re planning a night out in Paisley.

UPDATE: 21 December 2017

I said previously that I’d go back to try the food, and I took a buddy there for a birthday treat on a quiet, pre-Christmas Thursday night this week. Sadly, things did not go well. A sign at the entrance says ‘wait here to be seated,’ but no staff were in sight so we walked up to the Kerbside restaurant area. A member of waiting staff walked by us without even looking and disappeared into the back area. So we stood for a minute, before my patience began to wear thin and I asked the chef if we could just sit anywhere. She said we’d have to speak to staff at the bar area, aka The Ginger Slug, for a table.

So we walked through and waited patiently while one bar worker served another customer, without so much as a glance in our direction to even say he’d be with us in a second. A second bar worker was busying herself with paperwork or something and smiled at us, but made no move to ask how she could help. After around three or four minutes standing there like spare pricks at a wedding, we went back to the restaurant to ask the chef if I’d heard her correctly. “Hi, did you say we need to go to the other bar to be seated in this area?” She said yes, that was correct. I turned to look at my pal and said, “Fuck that, let’s go to Burger & Keg instead.”

What a disappointment, considering how much I liked my last visit to The Lane and how much I was looking forward to trying out the grub.

The place was very quiet on this recent visit so there was really no excuse for the piss poor service. A real pity, I could have murdered a few more pints of that fabulous Pabst.

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