Business is picking up in Old Orchard Beach now that summer is in full swing. One new bar to the beach scene is GFB Scottish Pub. Located up the hill from The Pier, the pub is tucked behind Beach Bagels and offers a thing most bars in the area can’t — a parking lot. It’s not a large lot, but it ups the convenience factor tremendously.
I checked out GFB on a recent Friday afternoon with Diane. It had been a long week, and we were ready for a drink. When we pulled up, a group of people were already enjoying drinks just outside the door.
The bar has a few tables set up behind a rope fence for patrons. It was so sunny and warm, we quickly decided to go in, grab a drink and return to the sun.
I have to be honest and say other than the lettering on the facade, I’m not quite sure what makes GFB a “traditional Scottish pub.” Truth be told, I’ve never been to a Scottish pub, so I guess I can’t pass judgment when I have nothing to compare.
The space inside is a large open area with two bars for quick service, a pool table and two dart boards. There are also tables and chairs to take a load off and a dance floor to show your moves.
A large stage is set up just as you enter, and fliers on the table by the door advertise upcoming bands. The bar has live entertainment on weekends and open mic night for patrons every Thursday.
At the bar, Diane and I weighed our options. The bar touts that it has the largest beer selection by The Pier. When I hear large beer selection, I think of Novare Res. If you’re expecting that at GFB, you’ll be disappointed. The bar certainly does offer up a lot of brews, but nothing of epic proportions, and a lot of common stuff. I opted for the Shipyard Summer Ale.
Not being a beer drinker, Diane opted for Jameson on the rocks. While there are other spirits available, that was one bottle she recognized on the counter behind the bartender. If you’re looking for some deals, GFB does have that — our total bill was $10.
Despite the fact it was happy hour on a Friday, the bar wasn’t too busy. There were maybe six patrons inside watching television while sipping their brews. A larger group of people was outside, and they told the bartender that they were starting their night off at GFB and touring the beach bars.
From the look of its pictures on Facebook, GFB gets busier on nights when it has live entertainment. The bar also offers some flat-screen televisions, and tunes in to big sporting games as they happen. Dart nights are on Thursdays and Saturdays — a $5 buy-in gets you a $50 gift certificate if you’re one of two winning teams for the night.
Emma Bouthillette is a freelance writer who lives in Biddeford.