Harley is a freelance writer currently based in Glasgow. To see her portfolio visit harleygriffiths.wordpress.com
Published May 19th 2017
Enjoy your latte in the loo
Let's face it: Glasgow's West end is notoriously trendy. With such an extensive selection of stylish bars, restaurants, vintage clothing shops and cafés to choose from, it's a wonder that anyone manages to keep track of them all in the first place.
There's something a bit different, however, about Chaiwallah West End. Maybe this is down to the fact that it occupies what used to be public toilets. Located on Eldon Street right beside the Gibson Street gate of Kelvingrove Park, now you can enjoy a nice latte from the comfort of a glorified loo.
Chaiwallah West End opened its doors (which, by the way, are complete with a 'ladies' and 'gents' entrance) in early May and has experienced a very warm welcome from its trendy neighbourhood. Yet prior to this most recent success, the public toilets have struggled to find a purpose. Having been left derelict for nearly 25 years, it was only in 2015 that the Glasgow City Council granted a planning application for the refurbishment of the site. This overhaul was initiated by BeanYet Ltd. and contracted by Cameron Webster Architects, who planned to transform the public toilets into a café-slash-rooftop terrace-slash-mobility scooter hire community 'hub'.
In addition to friendly staff and great coffee, Chaiwallah West End serves breakfast, brunch, and lunch, plus a mouth-watering lineup of homemade cakes, milkshakes, and baked treats. Often featuring other local businesses, like Seb & Mili's, Tchai-Ovna, and I.J. Mellis Cheesemongers, it seems the café remains keen on the idea of supporting its community.