AN EAST End pub which has been trading for 35 years is calling on readers to back local business.

The Hielan Jessie Bar is the latest firm to feature in the Glasgow Loves Local Business campaign.

Owner Billy Gold, 63, explained he was forced to close the Gallowgate bar when the UK went into lockdown.

He said: "We have been closed since March 20 with no income coming in but still paying fixed costs including utilities, broadband, CCTV and alarm etc.

"Our staff were placed on furlough and we did access a grant but we have lost significant amounts of stock and had to spend a lot on adapting the pub to make it safe for staff and customers.

"This will mean we can only have one-third of our previous capacity which means we will struggle to make ends meet."

READ MORE: Newlands cafe The Slated Teapot talk about the impact of coronavirus on business

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The traditional Glasgow pub will celebrate 35 years of trading this year. It was started and run by Billy's father Bill for 10 years before he took over.

He said: "The Hielan Jessie is a traditional Glasgow pub sitting at the bottom of a fine tenement building built in 1771.

"We have no TV, Jukebox, pool table or machines.

"Instead we have a cosy and comfortable pub with a welcome as warm as our open fire.

"We are close to Glasgow Green, the People's Palace, the Barras market, and the legendary Barrowland music venue.

"We have a good range of beers and a fine selection of malt whiskys."

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In preparation for a post lockdown world, the bar has taken time to introduce safety measures aimed at stopping the spread of coronavirus.

Billy explained: "We have installed six hand sanitisers for customer use and erected a perspex screen around our bar,.

"We have in and out doors - and signage and floor markings combined with spacing of tables which will ensure compliance with one metre distancing.

"Our toilets are one in one out.

"We will accept cash but contactless payment is encouraged.

"Our staff are all aware of the enhanced cleaning and hygiene regime which is all there to keep us all safe and they have access to the full range of PPE."

Looking to the future Billy has urged Glaswegians to support local businesses like him saying: "We are a long-established Glasgow business and we believe that our ethos of quality, service, and value means we can offer customers, old and new a chance to enjoy a drink in relaxed and safe surroundings.

"We believe we are part of the local community and pride ourselves on our customer service skills and we feel our outlook reflects the Glasgow virtues of warmth and friendship extended to all."

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