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Arlington deal

Stone of Destiny pub sold to man who helped save Celtic

David Low: ‘there will be no changes’

One of Glasgow’s oldest pubs, The Arlington, has been bought by the investor David Low who brokered the deal that rescued Celtic Football Club in the 1990s.

The Arlington, which has been a fixture in Woodlands Road since 1860, has long been a popular watering hole for writers, students, celebrities and academics at the nearby Glasgow University.

Famous customers over the years have included Billy Connolly, Frankie Miller and punk band, The Clash.

Mr Low acquired the pub for an undisclosed sum from sports agent and publican John Lonergan.  

His investment portfolio includes a significant holding in Scotland’s only cryptocurrency, Scotcoin, and he is chairman of the Three Thistles group of pubs that includes The Clockwork, Dram! and Bauhaus in Glasgow and The Steading in Edinburgh.

His brother, Kenny, is the sitting tenant in The Arlington which was the spur for acquiring the property. 


He said: “It’s a traditional community pub with an eclectic mix of hipsters, locals, university academics and students.

“It’s one of the city’s oldest, continuously operated pubs. I’ve been a customer for many years and it’s an honour for me to see it through the next stage of its journey.”

Mr Low, who helped to broker the takeover of Celtic FC by Fergus McCann in 1994 – rescuing the club from the brink of collapse – said he did not plan to make any significant changes.

“In this age of corporately-owned theme bars and faceless chains, The Arlington is a rarity – a traditional, community pub for real people and, with the exception of perhaps a few cosmetic touches, I intend to leave it as it is.”

He added: “One of the great joys of The Arlington is the sense of continuity it represents. Many of its customers are people, now in their fifties and sixties, who drank there when they were students and who enjoy returning to something that doesn’t change.”

The sale of the pub included the ‘Stone of Destiny’ – also known as the Stone of Scone – which will continue to be displayed prominently in a glass case in the bar for the continued enjoyment of customers and tourists.

The pub claims the one it owns is the real Stone of Destiny, the seat upon which ancient kings of Scotland were crowned. A group of four nationalist students and pub regulars retrieved it from Westminster Abbey in 1950. The stone now on display at Edinburgh Castle is said to be a crude replica, according to pub legend.

Mr Low said: “One of the two stones now resides in The Arlington and it’s for others to judge which is the original. It’s not for me to decide but if anyone wants to offer an opinion, they are welcome to drop by and do so over a pint.”

“I can say with some confidence the Stone will not be leaving The Arlington and the next king will not be crowned there.” 

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