Since moving to Glasgow from Canada 12 years ago, we have lived all over Glasgow: from Maryhill to Hillhead to Govan to yes, even Finnieston; we lived in Finnieston before it was named the hippest place in Britain. When we lived in Finnieston there certainly wasn't anywhere near as many bars/ pubs/ restaurants/ shops as there is now. We liked living in the area because the rent was reasonable and it was halfway between the West end and city centre. Back then you had the option of The Big Slope for drinks and food, Fanny Trollopes and Mother India for a nice meal, The Grove and Ben Nevis for decent pubs and MacCallums for lovely fresh fish (now Wilson's Catch of the Day). Nowadays you would be hard-pressed finding a place that wasn't worth stumbling out of; the Finnieston strip is the new Ashton Lane.
Finnieston was once populated with warehouses, cranes (such as the famous Finnieston crane - pictured above) and dockyards (such as Queen's Dock, which the SECC now sits on). The Finnieston crane was opened in 1932 and could load railway engines and tanks onto ships in the Clyde. The crane now remains as a symbol of Glasgow's mighty industrial past. With the deindustrialisation of Glasgow shipyards in the '70s, the area was a perfect film location for the science fiction film, Death Watch (1980). Here's a clip featuring Robbie Coltrane in his first film appearance - we even catch a glimpse of the Finnieston Crane:
We feel like Finnieston started to become what it is today when Piece and/or Crabshakk set up shop. Sorry, we can't remember which place opened first. And when Roots and Fruits moved from Byres Road to Finnieston? Well, you knew it was truly on its way to becoming a destination.
Along with all the places we just mentioned (seriously, those places alone are worth a trip to Finnieston), here's our selection of things to hit up in Finnieston:
- Alchemilla: we recently went for a birthday dinner and OMFG! we were blown away. We weren't the only ones blown away either, it seems. If you asked us where to go for dinner in Finnieston, this would be our go-to recommendation.
- Kelvingrove Cafe: grab a drink before exploring Finnieston further at this retro-looking cocktail bar. We recommend the Toronto (we're a sucker for the name, obviously) but be warned, it's not exactly cheap but it is potent!
- The 78: a vegan pub and restaurant although don't be put off. It's seriously good food and beer.
- The Grunting Growler: speaking of beer, if you're into craft beer then you should definitely head here. Ok, not strictly Finnieston but still worth a shout out!
- Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum: again on the periphery of Finnieston but since it's within stumbling distance, you can't not go. An institution.
- The Shop of Interest: great wee shop featuring loads of local artists and designers.
- El Perro Negro: best burgers in Glasgow. Prove us wrong.
- Coffee, Chocolate, and Tea: exactly what it says. Decent coffee.
- The Clydeside Distillery: And speaking of old dockyards in Finnieston, check out the newly opened Clydeside distillery. If you find yourself in Glasgow for a limited time and want to check out a malt whisky distillery you're now in luck as there is one steps away from Finnieston. Side note: a great single malt distillery located just outside Glasgow is Auchentoshan, one of our favourites here at LAKE&LOCH.
- The Hidden Lane: stroll down the Hidden Lane just off Argyle Street and you'll find a tea room, loads of artists/ designers, studios, yoga, Bonnie Bling and hunners more!
And finally, here's a list of more restaurants that we've heard are amazing but unfortunately we haven't had the chance to go (yet):
What are some of your favourite things to do and see in Finnieston?