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Andrew's Bar Turns 100

Passing from one generation to another

The following appeared in the "Times of Malta" on Monday 22nd of June 2009 following the 100 years celebration on Friday 19th June 2009.

" Every day after school Joe Chircop would run through the traffic-free roads to his parents bar in St. George’s Bay where he helped his mother serve drinks to army officers. His sons, and now his grandchildren, shared a similar childhood as they too were brought up at Andrew’s Bar that celebrated its 100 year anniversary last Saturday. Ever since the bar opened its doors, on June 19, 1909, it has been run by the Chircop family members who pride themselves with having attracted a loyal clientele throughout this century. "We havve had tourists who come to Malta year after year, for up to 30 years, and who always visit us and have a couple of drinks at the bar," said Mr. Chircop's son, Andrew, who was named after his great-grandfather who opened his namesake bar. Back in 1909, the late Andrew Chircop, a tailor for the British Army, decided to turn an army stable into a more lucrative business. He opened "The Army Bazaar by Andrew Chircop" where, apart from offering drinks to army officers who were based nearby, the shop also served as a haberdashery. As the years rolled on, his son, Emmanuel, took over the family bar. It was run by his wife Carmela for 47 years while he took over a souvenir shop. "My mum was a small but very tough woman," the couple’s son Joe, recalled with an affectionate smile. "I can remember, once, some army officer drank a bit too much and started causing trouble. Despite her small stature she grabbed him by the collar and chucked him out," he recalled. The family lived in the house next door to the bar that has now been converted into an extension to the bar - Indri's Restaurant - that offers a variety of food ranging from burgers and pizzas to pasta and seafood. For the past years, Joe Chircop’s sons Andrew and Simon - two of his five children - have been running the bar and, as their children grow up, they too are getting involved. The two have vague memories of the bar in their grandparentstimes, when it was still frequented by army officers, and have seen it evolve to what it is today. "We've seen many changes in the bar and the bay area surrounding it.


Andrews in 1909. click for larger view the late Carmela Chirpcop ran Andrew's Bar for 47 years text Farsons presents Andrew and Simon with a plaque to mark their centenary "We've met people from all walks of life," Andrew Chircop said. His brother, Simon added, "I remember once a woman almost gave birth here. Her belly was about to pop and suddenly, she fell to the ground and started screaming. We immediately called the ambulance".
For many years Andrew's Bar was the only one in the area but, over the past decades, others have mushroomed. This change in the surrounding landscape, that included the government's embellishment of St. George's Bay, also led to a change in clientele.Due to its location, right across the road from the bay, the bar attracts many tourists including celebrities such as American singer Madonna, internationally known model Claudia Schiffer and Irish born actor Peter O'Toole. One foreign visitor was an Englishman who always claimed to be good friends with British Prime Minister Gordon Brown. It turned out to be true, because he got Premier to send the bar a card to mark the 100th anniversary" Greetings from the British Prime Minister

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Andrew's Bar, 8 Ix-Xatt Ta' San Gorg, St. George's Bay.

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