There was a riot there around that time, cars overturned and burning on the street, police pelted with firebombs. It was claimed the other pub nearby, The Newlands, was being used by the police as a centre for covert surveillance of local criminals. The Newlands didn't survive the riot, it was burned to the ground.
That evening, I was out in the area, about half a mile away, with friends, having a meal at an Indian restaurant (Ayesha on Victoria Road), when we got home, the phone was ringing, my pal's girlfriend in a panic, calling from Wales to see if we were alright. "Why?", we asked, and were told that the riot had been on the television news at ten, with film of fire and flames, and riot police, and mobs, and.... we'd wondered why there were so many police vans going past the restaurant, but otherwise? The disturbance was far smaller and more localised than the press ever implied. Most of the people there were probably reporters and camera crews.
You could pretty much guarantee that at some point in the friday afternoon session the table would be visited by some thug offering a still warm VCR (remember those?) or a car stereo, or a nice t.v., or some tools, fresh out of a rear-door wrenched van.