Just a few regulars at the bar and, on the big TV screens, live coverage from the House of Commons on a subject terribly close to the town's heart.
Running along the bottom of the screens yesterday were the ominous words: "Ineos closes Grangemouth petrochemical plant".
The Grange is part of the Avongrange Hotel. Kirsty Muir, the manager since June, said the hotel business lost 11 contractors last week who had been staying there while working at the site.
She said: "They had been here for four or five weeks and were meant to be here for another six or seven but they had to go, so we've lost quite a bit of business. Other businesses in Grangemouth will suffer as well."
The town had been fearing the worst since Ineos owner Jim Ratcliffe declared the fate of the plant rested with its staff, adding: "This is not a bluff. The clock is ticking."
But when the news came, there was still a strong sense of shock that such a pivotal part of Grangemouth's - and Scotland's - economic and physical landscape should have proved so vulnerable.
As councillor Craig Martin, leader of Falkirk Council, put it: "Grangemouth has been at the heart of Scotland's petrochemical industry for 90 years and it is imperative its position as a major chemical complex and refinery is maintained."
The knock-on effect - to local suppliers, shops, pubs, taxi companies and many others - was also spoken about in anxious tones.
Postman Barry Rae, 46, said: "I think [Ratcliffe] is just out to make money. He's just a shyster. "
Ineos bought BP's Grangemouth assets in 2006, and Mr Rae said this had affected the plant.
He said: "The workers have been treated deplorably over the last three or four years. That plant was working efficiently when BP had it."
Scott Davie, 34, an electrical superintendent at BP's Kinneil terminal said: "I just find it shocking, for the sub-contractors especially. It's sad. Hopefully there will be some compromise somewhere.
"I've worked at Ineos for years - I got transferred to Kinneil three years ago from the Ineos plant. A lot of my friends are there."
He said he did not believe the Ineos claims about the plant losing £10 million a month, adding: "I find that ridiculous, actually. It's farcical.
"It would be good if someone could see the books and prove it is losing £10m a month."
One refinery worker, who asked not to be named, said: "We knew there had to be possible changes in order to keep the business compatible. We were given a survival plan, we had to read it and make a decision about what was best for the way ahead.
"We'll have to see how things pan out in the next couple of weeks. The management have said there might be a knock-on effect on the refinery, so I could possibly go as well, but we'll have to wait and see. There might be one or two more twists and turns in this."
Eddie Weldon, 55, a service engineer, said angrily: "It's typical of what is happening in this country [because of] the capitalists. They've got nothing left to cut so the next thing to cut is the people."
Taxi driver Adam Templeton was unequivocal.
He said: "It's a disgrace. I reckon the owners were angling to shut it down anyway.
"It's not just Grangemouth that will suffer. You're talking about the whole of Falkirk district - Polmont, Larbert, Bonnybridge, Denny.
"A lot of the guys [at the petrochemical plant] live not in Grangemouth but in the surrounding areas. Businesses here, like paper shops and petrol stations, are going to go as well."
Ross Whitaker, 38, who works for a sub-contractor at Grangemouth, said contractors would suffer particularly badly through the closure.
Ami Weston, who works in the Rumbling Tum, a popular food stall on Bo'ness Road, said BP workers were a big part of her clientele and feared her firm would be affected as well.
Another worker spoke out after the meeting where Ineos chairman Calum MacLean informed them that the company will appoint liquidators in the coming days.
He said: "I feel sick. It's gone. There's no livelihoods left and we don't even know if we're going to get redundancy out of it.
"I hope they're happy with themselves."
The worker, who was close to tears, said he could only listen to about 10 minutes of the meeting before he felt he had to leave.
He went on: "There are folk in there who also have a husband and wife work there. That's it. Folk will be lucky if they have a house at Christmas."
On the impact of the move on Grangemouth, he said: "It's gubbed. Everything, burger vans, everything's gone."
Grangemouth was opened in 1924, shortly after the end of the First World War when Scottish Oils opened a refinery to process crude oil from the Persian Gulf.
The company was part of the Anglo-Persian Oil Company which became better known worldwide as British Petroleum [BP].
As it was nestled on the banks of the Firth of Forth the site was deemed ideal.
Today the plant is sprawled over 1730 acres.
It is estimated that Grangemouth produced 400,000 tonnes of oil each year until the start of the Second World War.
The refinery was connected to the Finnart Oil Terminal at Loch Long on the west coast by a 58-mile pipeline in the 1950s. This allowed crude to be imported by a deep-water jetty, which supported the use of larger oil tankers.
Later on a second line was installed to allow the direct supply of finished refinery products to the Finnart terminal, primarily for export to markets in Northern Ireland.
Redevelopment work began more than 60 years ago when capacity was increased in stages to 4.5 million tonnes. Expansion continued through the 1950s, 1960s and 1970s. The capacity today has more than doubled to 10m tonnes a year.
Britain's first hydrocracker installation was set up at Grangemouth to produce jet fuels and an alkylation unit was opened a few years later in 1981 to produce petrol while a low sulphur diesel plant opened in 1996.
Grangemouth, which is regarded as Scotland's powerhouse, produced, until the dispute, two million gallons of fuel every day
As well as petrol for cars and planes, it also helps keep homes warm particularly in the winter by supplying domestic heating oil.
Figures show diesel accounts for 24% of overall production, petrol at 22%, fuel oil at 15% and kerosene paraffin at 13%.
The remaining 26% accounts for products such as methane natural gas, propane and butane petroleum gas, jet fuel and a range of chemicals such as hydrogen, benzene and ethylene as well as industrial solvents.
Ineos is one of the the world's chemical giants. It has a workforce in Grangemouth of around 1400, and another 1000 contractors, and works hand in glove with neighbouring chemical and manufacturing firms.
Its products are used in as range of goods from plastic containers to textiles, from pharmaceuticals to adhesives and from car tyres to belts and hoses.