THE owner of Glasgow bar the 13th Note has announced she has been forced to permanently close the venue after 21 years in business.

The owner of the popular music venue blamed rising inflation and Covid's impact as she explained the decision - but also hit out at the trade union behind recent industrial action. 

In a statement, Jacqueline Fennessy claimed that Unite Hospitality had “sabotaged” the business amid an ongoing dispute with the bar’s workers.

Unite previously claimed the industrial action by bar staff was the first of its kind in 20 years.

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Fennessy said: “Over more than two decades, we’ve played host to thousands of bands, performers, promoters and artists, while playing a significant role in the vibrant cultural scene of Glasgow.

“I’m devastated with the closure of a business I’ve cherished and loved along with the hundreds of loyal customers who frequented the Note, and I would like to thank everyone who has played a role in creating what was a vibrant Glasgow institution.

“It has been an honour to have been a part of your lives.”

She added that the challenges of running an independent arts venue following the impact of Covid and the rising cost of living “have been well documented”.

However, the statement added: “Unite Hospitality has sabotaged our business with a repeated onslaught on social media and the wider press with false and misleading stories that have been published unchecked. This has led to weekly revenue declining steadily over this period.

“Despite direct talks with Unite Hospitality about the 13th Note being in crisis and all jobs being at risk as recently as July 5, they continued publishing untruths and went ahead with strike action which has fully depleted all available funds in the business.”

Unite Hospitality issued a response on Twitter. A statement said: “The owner of @13thnotecafe has closed the venue with immediate effect informing workers that they would get a week’s wages.

“This is despite Ms Fennessy committing to pausing any redundancy until we met with ACAS today to resolve.

“This is trade union intimidation.”

A separate tweet added: “To give a gauge of how pernicious this employer is, she briefed the press before she even told some of our members (or their union) that their workplace was closing.

“She is trying to blame her own workers for closing a venue when she denied them the most basic rights.”