Neighbourhood watch: Merchant City
Glasgow’s Cultural Quarter, home to designer shops, glossy bars and Merchant City Festival
This article is from 2011.
Around your bit of Town
This month: Merchant City, Glasgow
What’s it like?
Darling! It’s the Merchant City! Glasgow’s Cultural Quarter! Glasgow’s Style Mile! Home to designer shops, glossy bars, great food and the Merchant City Festival! The best place to eat in the city! Short answer: expensive, but vibrant.
Where’s it, like?
Ostensibly, it’s those few streets of gorgeous architecture immediately to the south-east of George Square, but its boundaries have tended to wander in recent years, and it now lays claim to the galleries and hipster bars of Trongate, arts complex Trongate 103, George Square itself and the Saltmarket to the south.
Who’s from there?
As the cavernous warehouses in the area were converted into luxury lofts comparatively recently, there aren’t too many famous former residents yet. Campy BBC drama Lip Service was filmed in the MC’s chichi bars, and one of the most famous local faces is Seamus MacInnes, who set up Glasgow foodie staple Café Gandolfi 30 years ago, opening the floodgates for regeneration. Oh, and Liam Gallagher visited recently to open up the Scottish branch of his clothes shop Pretty Green on designer mecca Ingram Street. What? We’re not sniggering.
Why would I go there?
This month? Because the Merchant City Festival is on, showcasing everything that the area does best: great food, open-air gigs, comedy, fashion shows, as well as local makers’ markets, dining out offers and a healthy dose of street theatre. Year round? Because it’s really quite a lovely place to be, because we love the quirks of establishments like the Trans-Europe Café and MoHair hairdressing, because it has great vintage and designer shopping, and because Café Gandolfi’s venison platter is a Glasgow standard for a reason.
Merchant City Festival, Thu 21–Sun 24 Jul