ARTS VE N U E Arches Cafe/Bar

The catering side of arts institutions was once a neglected, rather perfunctory feature at galleries, theatres, etc. But increasingly you'll find something more than a bog- standard canteen. For clever cultural tsars now see food and drink as not only a potentially lucrative element of their venues but also a way to establish a stronger sense of community within the arts world.

Take the seventh-floor cafe at the Tate Modern in London or The Tower restaurant in Edinburgh’s Museum of Scotland: both have established reputations in their own right. Now in Glasgow, the Arches bar and cafe is clearly a key component of the theatre/club’s overall renovation and physical expansion. Approached from the new Argyle Street entrance, it will no doubt become a focus for passing visitors as well as a destination and regular hangout for a good many in the arts and theatre circles.

Designed by One Foot Taller and Timorous Beasties, the main space is down an open flight of stairs and set within a brick and masonry arch whose exterior wall is now glazed, allowing in natural light for the first time. Kitted in chocolate leather seating with oak and brushed stainless steel tables, the room designed for 60-odd covers is unencumbered by clutter. It is also blissfully free of any TV screens. 'The idea was to keep the features of brick, curves and underground feel, while adding elements that are comforting and warm,’ says Timorous Beasties designer Paul Simmons.

The bar, in keeping with a more sophisticated feel, offers a list of classic cocktails (made from premium

The Arches promises more than a hog standard canteen

spirits) of the likes of Martinis, Mojitos and Daiquiris. It is stocked, as well, with a full range of bottled European beers and Scottish ales. The wine list has four reds and four whites. Happy hour is a generous 4—8pm daily with lager and 70/- pints for £1.60 and vodka/whisky/gin mix at £1.70 amid other specials and daily promotions, too. The kitchen cranks out affordable fare from noon until around 8pm, although the notion of later-night nibbles has not been entirely ruled out. The a la carte selections (still being tweaked as this goes to press), from pasta to char-grills, are priced at no more than about £5 and can be ordered in various combinations to slake a full appetite or simply keep those pangs of peckishness at bay. (Barry Shelby) s‘a The Arches, 253 Argyle Street, Glasgow 0907 022 0300 See feature

ago, there was a dearth of soup bars Not any longer It's Organic's founder Stephen Percy-Robb describes his brand of wholesome fare as ’high quality, healthier take-away food wrthout the home-knitted feel’ His aim, he says, is to give people a wider, more nutritious choice of natural products. ‘So, as well as being almost 100% organic, we also proVide gluten and dairy-free ophons,’ he says

Like the original lt’s Organic, the Bread Street branch offers a range of nearly all-organic products In addition to soups, there are sandwiches, wraps, and Juices, chicken and vegetable noodles, dry goods like pasta, as well as some much-talked about natural remedies such as wheatgrass, Echinacea and spirulina Meanwhile, a variety of salads are also planned

The new branch is light, airy and features the crisp yet colourful design of Dene Happell, who was responsible for the decor of the original shop and Glasgow’s Air Organic Given that the place is more spacious inearly twice the size of the William Street locationi, there's much more seating, which

Soup is on the up

NEW BRANCH It's Organic Let the soup wars commence. A

second It's Organic soup and Juice bar has opened in Bread Street, Edinburgh,

and hot on the heels of this new incarnation come ‘mobile' Sites on Morrison Street and Bristo Square in the capital, With another branch in Glasgow due by Spring Not so long

means yOu don't necessarily have to take the tasty nourishment on the run (Dawn Kofie,‘

It’s Organic, 75 Bread Street, Edinburgh, 0737 228 9444


Side dishes

News in the New Year

GLASGOW HISTORY THROUGH the gimlet eye is told in a new book by Rudolph Kenna and lan Sutherland, The Bevvy: The Story Of Glasgow And Drink. Published by Clutha Books (£7.99) and backed by Tennent Caledonian Breweries, the book has a delightful hand-made, self- published quality. Kenna is author of the Glasgow Pub Companion among other books, while Sutherland contributes regularly to The Herald and The Scotsman. Their chapters on historic drinking dens and habits expose numerous nuggets from the entomology of the expression 'steaming' (the state in which passengers on the Clyde‘s steamers disembarked) to the lyrics of a song performed by 19305 comedian Will Fyffe impersonating an inebriated Glaswegian:

'I belong to Glasgow/Dear old Glasgow Town/But there's something the matter with Glasgow/For it's going roun and roun.’

MARK YOUR CAI ANDARS ‘) l l March marks the first e\.'er SPAM appreciation week Why this year 9 Well, the World \JVar l| processed meat import from the US celebrates 60 years in the UK No sign of a Monty Python reunion lalasr to help the festivrties along wrth rousing version of 'SPAisl, SPAM, lovely SPAlvl', but proceeds from the sales during that Week go tons/aids Ber'nar‘do's children charity \Nired SPAM groupies should Visit the website at win/w sparn—ul: corn

BREL, THE BELGIAN bar and restaurant in Glasgow's Ashton Lane has launched (in conjunction with suppliers at Peckhams) a wine of the month promotion, offering four wines at 'one—off prices' for the next couple of months. Leading off the promo are Michel Torino Malbec red from Argentina (£16 bottle/£2.50 glass), Esk Valley Chenin Blanc of New Zealand (£17.50/f3), Parxat Cuvee Cava (£14.50 bottle) and Peckhams’ House Sparkling Wine (£22 bottle).

BRITANNIA SPICE IN Leith has been named by Pat Chaprrian's 200/ Good Curry Guide as the Best Curry Restaurant in Scotland 'We are extremely proud of this award,’ says Wali Tasar Uddin, restaurant chairman and CEO 'And we're also delighted that it reflects credibility upon Edinburgh and the regeneration of Leith of which we are delighted to play a small part ' Britannia Spice, hit-listed in our Eat/rig Arid Drink/rig Gurde, only opened last year.

Slaw-l8 la" 2007 THE “ST 107