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Dowanhill St, Glasgow G11 5QR • Visit Website »

Learn how-to cook a pan fried pork loin with The Sparkle Horse in Glasgow, Scotland.


How did you get started?

We are three gentlemen of a certain age that have worked for various bars/clubs and restaurants in Glasgow and Edinburgh. Our collective desire to run our own place led us to go into business together in 2012, when we took over an old-man's pub on a back street in Glasgow's West End and re-named it The Sparkle Horse after Mark Linkous' band of the 90's. Our drive was to provide good drinks and restaurant quality food at pub prices along with a civilised, friendly environment free from modern distractions and excellent personal service.

Where are you located?

We are on Dowanhill Street, just off the famous Byres Road in Glasgow's West End. We are close to Kelvingrove Park, the museum and the university. Situated adjacent to Kelvinhall Subway station and just a few minutes walk from Partick train station. You might not spot us from the main streets, but once discovered, customers tend to come back time and time again.

What are your specialities?

Our Pork Loin stuffed with Stornoway Black Pudding is the top crowd-pleaser closely followed by Roast Guinea Fowl with barley and root vegetable stew. Vegetarians are treated to our Puy Lentil Shepherd's Pie along with our chick-pea based Veggie Burger. Our beef and Cajun chicken burgers also garner high praise.

What's your personal favorite thing on the menu?

In winter times, you can't beat our Steak and Krusovice Pie. The Czech lager really brings out the flavour of our slow-cooked steak. It's the bedrock of the menu. If dining outside in nice weather (it does happen here sometimes!) I'd go for the Pan-fried fillet of Sea Bass served on prawn and sun-blushed tomato risotto.

What's on the stereo?

Everyone has their own preferences, though there is a collective love of American indie. If I'm on a Friday or Saturday night it can go a bit new wave/electronic, but we tried to keep it varied. We were once criticised for playing an album in its entirety but frankly, sometimes it's the right thing to do.

Where else should we visit in your area?

The West End is full of more commercial bars and restaurants that are best avoided but The Ubiquitous Chip, The Hanoi Bike Shop and The Rio Cafe are a cut above. You also can't beat The Lismore for a more "local" bar feel.

Do you host any special events?

We have a weekly Quiz on Monday evenings which is widely mentioned as the best quiz in town. As pub quiz addicts ourselves, it was always a feature that we knew we could get right! Our monthly baby disco is also very popular, parents can have a drink and a dance and the kids can get their faces painted and run amok. We keep the music to 80's/90's alternative classics - the parents can reminisce and the kids will dance to anything as long as it's good. We also have Hobby Horse, a needlecraft group, on Wednesday's and every second Sunday we have Horseplay, an afternoon of board gaming.

Is there anything else you'd like us to know?


Do you have a favorite cafe, restaurant or bar in your town that we should feature? Send us a message!

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