Thule Bar

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August 2007
Business Contact Details
Address: Taits Place, Esplanade, Lerwick. ZE1 0LL
Tel: 01595 692508
Fax: 01595 694048
Mobile:
Website: http://www.kgqhotels.co.uk
e-mail: info@kgqhotels.co.uk


<keywords content="shetland directory, shetland businesses, shetland, shetlopedia, shetland isles" /> The Thule Bar is one of the more notable buildings on the Esplanade, in Lerwick.
The design of the building means that it doesn't fit in with the other buildings around it, with the possible exception of the public toilets from the 60's, and the extension of the Clydesdale Bank beside it. But the Esplanade wouldn't look the same without it.

It is named after the legendary land of Thule.

Going back in history

90's ?
Photo from Shetland Museum and Archives.
Shetland Museum photo of the central painting on the bar logo
Shetland Museum photo from 1959 with Thule Bar in centre of the picture

The bar has not always looked like it do today, there has been some major changes up through the years.The picture to the left, assumed to be in the 1990's, shows that the bar had a rather impressive sign on the wall at that time, and had different colour on the trimmings of the house. The windows were also a little bit different.
The picture on the right shows a light geen painted building, with totally different windows and bar sign, and with a doble gable facing the sea. Sometime in the years between those photos were taken, the building has undergone a major rebuilding of the front.

Opening day, May 1947.
Photo from Shetland Museum and Archives.
Pulling a pint in the newly opened Thule Bar.
Photo from Shetland Museum and Archives.
Shetland Museum photo from inside the bar in 1947.
As a Tweed Warehouse in the 1930's.
Photo from Shetland Museum and Archives.
Shetland Museum photo from the 1890's, showing "Sea View Vaults".

The three pictures above shows the opening day of "The Thule Bar" in May 1947. At that time, the entrance was on the south side of the building.
For some years there had not been a bar in the house, the picture to the left, from the 1930's, shows a "Tweed Warehouse" in the building, and it might have had other occupants too.
But the bar of -47 was not the first "Thule Bar" in this building, the three pictures below are showing "Thule Refreshment Bar", early in the twentieth century. The man 2nd left, on the interiour picture to the right, is George Theodore Kay Hunter, (Dodie), the owner. If we look closely to the pictures, we will se that the impressive bottle rack in the centre is the same in -47 as it was in the older bar. The "Thule Refrshment Bar" existed into sometime in the 1920's.
Before the Thule Refreshment Bar, the bar's name was "Sea View Vaults", which can be seen on the harbour picture to the right.This might have been the first bar in the building.

The older Thule Bar with barmen outside.
Photo from Shetland Museum and Archives.
Shetland Museum photo showing barmen and customers at the bar.
Barmen in the old bar.
Photo from Shetland Museum and Archives.
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