A DUNFERMLINE bar attended the Scottish Entertainment Awards as finalists in the Best Independent Bar category.

The Monarch Bar, on James Street, attended the Molson Coors Scottish Entertainment Awards in Glasgow last Thursday.

Irene Gibson, 64, has owned the Monarch Bar for six-and-a-half years and has been nominated for numerous awards since she took over what was formerly Thirsty Kirsty’s.

Irene told the Press: “We’ve been nominated loads of times but it’s great just even to be in the final, to be considered, as a wee back street pub.

“It is amazing just to get to that stage.”

The nomination was made even more special after the trials of the pandemic meant that the pub – like all in the industry – had to work with a reduced customer capacity due to the restrictions on hospitality.

She continued: “The thing that really got me was that you were turning more people away than you could accommodate because of social-distancing but the customers have stuck with us, they’ve voted for us and without those votes we would have never been at the awards.”

The Monarch Bar applied to enter the awards but it was their loyal customers that got them to the finals by going on and voting for their local.

Irene also credits her team for sticking by her through such a tough time, saying: “It’s absolutely amazing, after what we’ve all come through.

“It’s been torture but I didn’t lose any members of staff through furlough, I kept them all and they all came back.”

Stephanie, Irene’s daughter, works as the bar manager and her son, Glenn, helps out when he can.

Irene said: “It’s a wee family place, its just the three of us but we have lots of staff and they’re brilliant.

“What a great team I’ve got!”