The Pot Still’s History

The Pot Still is currently owned by the Murphy family pictured below, but let me tell you a bit about the rest of the families who have run the bar.

The first tenant recorded was John Hill, a wine and spirits merchant who operated the premises in 1867.

William McCall and his family were the first family to own the bar back in 1886 when it was McCalls bar. The bar saw several generations of family and friends of the McCall’s at the helm, right up until the early 1960’s when the Tennents Caledonian breweries group took over.  Tennents made extensive alterations and refurbished the pub,  including the addition of the lounge at the back in 1971.  The bar was run by Tennents managers until 1981 when the bar was taken over and The Pot Still name was introduced.

The Waterstone family took over the bar in 1981. The father/son team John and Paul Waterstone made some alterations and were the first to introduce the name The Pot Still and started the whisky bar with over 300 bottles on the gantry.  The family owned the bar until the early 1990’s when manager Ken Storrie took his turn behind the bar.

The Storrie’s were the next family to have their time in this whisky institution. Kenny, his wife Sandra and 2 young kids in tow, Natalie and Pamela, started as the managers and quickly took over as the lease holders, increasing the whisky stock to over 500 bottles.  Kenny went on to win the SLTN Whisky Bar of the Year 2003 & 2004 and Whisky Magazine’s Whisky Icons Whisky Bar of the year 2005, 2006 & 2007, cementing The Pot Still’s worldwide reputation as THE whisky bar to visit in Glasgow.  The family hired a new bar manager in late 2003 and the first Murphy started work – Frank Murphy.  The Storrie family owned the bar until Kenny’s sad passing in November 2010.

Here come the Murphy’s!!  So as we already said Frank Murphy started here in late 2003 as the manager and quickly got his sister Geraldine involved with helping out with some shifts behind the bar… and the rest as they say is history.

The Murphy family have been involved with the bar ever since with various brother, sisters and cousins having their time behind the bar.  The family took ownership on 28th Nov 2011 with Dad Brian, brother Frank and sister Geraldine in the driving seat.  We have gone from strength to strength, continuing the family run tradition of The Pot Still and the bar now boats over 800 whiskies from all over the world on the bulging gantry.  We were delighted to celebrate both The Pot Still’s 35th anniversary and our 5th anniversary in Nov 2016, we were also amazed to win both the Scottish Dram Awards Whisky Bar of the Year and Scottish Field magazine’s Whisky Bar of the Year Award in 2016 and The SLTN Whisky Bar of the Year 2017.

Covid came and we are some of the very lucky ones to survive. We are back to the thriving, bustling bar as normal and were so proud to be able to celebrate The Pot Still’s 40th anniversary & 10th Murphy ownership anniversary in Nov 2021 in person in the pub with all our fantastic customers, friends and family.

We hope you will come an visit us in our delightful little corner of Glasgow and we hope to continue the good whisky work for as long as we can