THE Glad Cafe has been a neighbourhood hangout and centre for South Side creativity over the last eight years.
The not-for-profit music venue and arts hub, with a licensed café, is run by the Glad Foundation. They offer free and affordable music workshops, working with hundreds of children and young people locally.
You may have visited for their brunch menu, great coffee, craft beer selection, innovative street food pop ups, vegan dishes and gigs.
The popular community space was forced to close in March last year in response to the pandemic. Looking into the past has revealed a blueprint for the future. They are now making a return to Pollokshaws Road with a new sense of purpose.
The venue’s location is where the original Crossmyloof Bakery once stood.
You can still see some scorch marks on the brickwork in the back lane, imprints from Victorian era bread-making. It was established in 1840 by Neale Thomson, whose family owned the Adelphi Cotton Works in the Gorbals. He was a local philanthropist who provided workers with affordable bread and improved their conditions.
His legacy in the local area includes a school building he built that now houses The Indian on Skirving Street. Thomson sold land from the family’s estate to the city for less than its value and that became Queen’s Park – his home, Camphill House, still sits in the park and has been divided into flats.
This Shawlands story has been percolating in mind of Rachel Smillie since she first opened The Glad Cafe: “As we delved into the bakery’s history we discovered the wonderful story of generosity and progressive thinking of Neale Thomson and his family. So inspired were we by this, that we wanted to bring the Crossmyloof Bakery into our own present and future.”
Introducing The Crossmyloof Bakery Pizzeria, the first phase in a larger project to establish a fully operational bakehouse at the café.
Their statement of intent reads: “As for so many, 2020 has been a difficult year for us, but, as always, your incredible and unfaltering support means that we are still here, surviving and smiling!
“While our cafe and venue will hibernate over this period, we are so excited to bring you beautiful, creative artisan pizza – bringing together our own gorgeous Scottish larder with the best ingredients supplied to us from Italy, and all the rich Glasgow history that comes with that too.”
Takeaway will run 5-9pm Friday-Sunday to start and they are working on increasing opening hours, offering pre-order and starting deliveries.
First pizza topping combinations on the menu include confit garlic, honey, chilli, burrata, capers and lemon balm or crème fraiche, potato, Italian sausage, cavolo nero, smoked mozzarella and rosemary.
The Clyde made Glasgow and Glasgow made the Clyde. I’ve been reminded about our relationship with the river by sightings of a local paddleboarding group, who celebrated New Year’s Day by taking a leisurely punt through the city centre.
It’s a growing community of friends, led by instructor Ally Findlay. “Little opportunity to travel abroad has meant that lots of people have looked closer at their own doorstep and at what Scotland has to offer.
“In life we so often take for granted what is in front of our very eyes.
“Nothing beats the sensation of getting out onto flat calm water, gliding and just enjoying life from a different perspective.
“I’ve yet to coach or take someone out that hasn’t created a smile for the entire time they have been out,” he says.
While current restrictions will limit winter excursions, perhaps in the spring gangs of paddleboarders will be a regular part of life on the Clyde. To find out more, you can visit glasgowpaddleboardersco.co.uk.