Glasgow's oldest bar, Sloans, is a little piece of history just tucked away from the hustle and bustle of Argyle Street. Serving gastro classics and known for their weekly markets and ceilidhs, this Glasgow bar is so much more than a watering hole in the City Centre.
You can find Sloans up a cobbled lane off Argyle Street. Once you've walked up it, you're presented with a lovely little courtyard area with outdoor seating and fairy lights - lots of fairy lights! We took our seats in the bistro area which is part of the ground floor bar, but slightly sectioned off so you can enjoy bar's atmosphere but without it being overwhelming. The bistro itself is a lovely, old-fashioned section with more fairy lights in every corner and dusty old books on the shelves. Sloans isn't just limited to the bistro, though, with their famous Friday Ceilidh taking place in the stunning ballroom and more formal, special occasion dining is held in the main restaurant. There's a lot more to discover and you can ask for a guided tour of the whole venue, which is well worth doing if you have the time.
Clientele & Atmosphere
Given Sloans' impressive history, it attracts plenty of tourists looking to take a tour of the building. It's also popular with the over 30s crowd, probably due to the laid-back atmosphere and the lack of loud music. We visited Sloans on a Wednesday night and the bar was bustling with quite a mixture of folk, with older couples having a meal, tourists sampling some beer from the WEST brewery, and a few friends in their mid-20s stopping in after a busy shopping trip. As previously mentioned, the vibe is very laid-back with no rowdy patrons or in-your-face music. Old tunes were playing throughout the evening, with a nod to classics from Elvis and Ray Charles.
Food & Drink
The food at Sloans is classic gastro pub-style fare. You may have already heard about their monthly mac 'n' cheese nights, but if you haven't, well, lets just say that Sloans love this cheesy dish. After hearing all the hype about their mac 'n' cheese, it just had to be sampled. Topped off with bacon bits and gruyere cheese with skinny fries and a salad to the side, I can safely say that it was delicious. Perhaps there was a bit too much, but macaroni cheese is very filling. The veggie at the table opted for the chickpea, feta and beetroot kofte, which I'm assured was also very tasty indeed. Dessert came in the form of a warm caramel shortcake and two scoops of tablet ice cream. The ice cream was very sweet and was packed with little chunks of tablet, (for the non-Scots among you, that's a sugary, buttery sweet, kind of like fudge but a bit harder and a lot more delicious!) so it's ideal for people with a bit of a sweet tooth. For drinks, we went for two glasses of rosé, but we saw a few patrons sampling some beer from Glasgow's own WEST brewery, so bonus points to Sloans for keeping it local.
Sloans is a lovely spot off Argyle Street for drinks and a hearty pub meal. The staff are extremely knowledgeable and helpful, the food is delicious and the casual vibe is sure to appeal to everyone. I'll definitely be back to take advantage of a free tour of this sprawling, three storey building.