It’s old news that Glasgow’s Finnieston area is one of the city’s go-to spots for quirky cocktail bars and the Kelvingrove Café fits in perfectly. You’ve probably walked past the beautifully restored vintage exterior and wondered what was inside – or if it was abandoned – and that’s exactly why we went in.
Next time you’re walking down Argyle Street, make sure you look out for the Kelvingrove Café as it’s one of those “blink and you’ll miss it” places. It lay empty for a few years before being refurbished and it looks rather amazing now. It’s stripped-back with exposed brickwork and wooden floors, and a lot of the original features remain intact. It’s an upmarket bar with table service, so it’s the ideal place to celebrate a special occasion. Do bear in mind that it’s a seating-only bar due to licensing laws.
Atmosphere & Clientele
We visited the Kelvingrove Café on a Sunday afternoon and we were lucky to find a seat. It was packed! This place does fill up pretty quickly at peak times, but you can call and reserve a table in advance. As it was full, the chatter from the other customers filled up the bar, but thankfully the music was at a low enough volume to hear yourself speak. The clientele was mainly couples and small groups in their early 30s. We were seated in the upstairs bar and some of the tables were on the small side, but the Kelvingrove Café does have a private function room downstairs, which would suit larger groups.
Food & Drink
We’ll admit that we weren’t quite sure if this was a cocktail bar that served food, or a restaurant that served cocktails (there is a difference!) as we noticed everyone around us was eating. We had just eaten, so we didn’t get to try the food, but we’ve heard a lot of good things about their sliders – I spotted at least five people eating these.
As we were here for drinks, my friend went for a “Blind Spot” which was served in a very small glass (just bigger than a shot glass), but any bigger and the Blind Spot would certainly have lived up to its name. She mentioned that it was super strong – the kind of drink that you’ll sip on slowly instead of gulping down. I went for an Old Fashioned, which is one of their signature cocktails, and it didn’t disappoint.
The cheaper cocktails on the menu are around £6.50, with more expensive offerings around £8-10. It’s not just all cocktails either, as there’s a whole host of craft beer on offer too. Do keep in mind, though, that the drinks served here are all made from premium brands and you’ll be paying a bit more than usual.
If you’re looking for a place to celebrate a special occasion, this is it. The Kelvingrove Café is a lovely hangout and hidden gem in the Finnieston area. Make a booking here next time you’re in the area and with countless tasty cocktails to choose from, you’ll be spoiled for choice - but take it easy on those Blind Spots.