There's been a whirlwind of change in a week. Just to set the scene, seven days ago I was telling you about a new restaurant opening on Royal Exchange Square at the end of the month and the next wave of local coffee shops arriving in neighbourhoods. I was preparing to enjoy chef John Traynor's cooking at an Undercover Dinner Club pop-up at Mesa

The launch of Glaschu is now delayed and many of those cafes have either shut or operate a takeaway only policy. Undercover Dinner Club has postponed their next series of events.

This morning I've had calls from restaurant owners on the way to lock up their premises, emails about hospitality staff support funds and updates from some of the most successful venues in the city as they contemplate an uncertain future.

Based on the conversations I've had with figures in the industry, there's a level of anger at the government for the way they have implemented change. Alongside that, there remains a panicked sense of resilience, and a strong commitment to community and to staff.

You will find the latest updates on what is happening to some of your favourite places at There's also a Glasgow Coronavirus Community Group on Facebook for sharing information.

READ MORE: Ghost town Glasgow: Coronavirus leaves city bare as museums, shops and streets empty will continue to help local independent businesses share their news.

As of today, temporary closures include Platform at Argyle St Arches, Cafe Gandolfi, Eighty Eight, Ox and Finch, Ka Pao and Variety Bar.  

The Gannet has closed and will offer a kitchen delivery service that they hope will fund meals for those in need locally. That starts on Tuesday. Sugo and Paesano closed yesterday, with a plan to launch a pizza and pasta delivery service. "Adaptation is the key" they say.

Glasgow Times: Cafe Gandolfi is one of a number of Glasgow eateries to close its doors Cafe Gandolfi is one of a number of Glasgow eateries to close its doors

Partick Duck Club tell me: "We will be open as long as possible providing takeaway. People can just give us a call or pop in to grab some dishes".

Cake Bar is open for takeaway coffee, cake and ice cream Thursday to Sunday. Nearby Loop and Scoop will also have collection available. Pianola will make deliveries in the Broomhill, Jordanhill and Hyndland areas.

Little Hoi An on Allison Street has just started their own takeaway service. Piece sandwich shops are starting up deliveries. You can pick up breakfast to go from The Amsterdam. Mezcal have a takeaway window for contactless collection. There's plenty of other examples of innovation. Those restaurants that can continue to safely serve meals in their dining rooms will do so.

The first priority is keeping people safe. The coronavirus will impact the way we interact with local businesses. I wrote Glasgow's 100 Best Restaurants book for 2020 because there are exciting food and drink places here that you won't find anywhere else. They reflect and influence the personality of different parts of the city. Remember the ones you value in your own community over the coming months.  

Meanwhile, I have my own delivery service. You can order a copy of Glasgow's 100 Best Restaurants book from

A Year in Cocktails

Glasgow Times:

Wheesht is a modern speakeasy on Claremont Street. For the last year, the brains behind the secret bar's theatrical presentation and freestyling cocktails, Jamie Moran and Dave Salvadord Ali, have been on the front line, talking to thousands of different Glaswegians about what they want in their drink. Wheesht will close for good on 12th April. Before that, here's what they found out about the local cocktail scene.

"Glasgow is known for its very sweet palate and this is something we have found is true. Our most popular drinks have taken the form of a sweet-sour, that is, a cocktail containing citrus, but on the sweeter side of the spectrum. Other favourites include twists on the Old Fashioned, a simple mix of spirit, sugar and bitters, and a variety of dessert-style drinks that we made as Flips. A Flip is a cocktail that contains a whole egg and lends a yummy creamy texture. As for spirits, gin is the favourite by far but rum, tequila and scotch have all been very popular too."

"Whilst each drink is designed for each guest in the moment based on their particular likes, we did have some drinks that, over the year, we kept coming back to. The Zaiquiri was originally made for the old GM of the bar above us as a light, boozy, citrus forward sour containing white rum, yellow chartreuse, galangal (a variant of Ginger), grapefruit and lime. This mix quickly became one of our go-to recipes for a wide variety of guests looking for something along these lines. The Macarita has become our house Margarita twist using our Macadamia Orgeat (a syrup made from the nut milk)."

READ MORE: Oli Norman fires bullet at Boris Johnson after Glasgow bar closures lead to 200 job cuts

"One of the primary things we learned through not having a menu is how open Glaswegians can be to trying new drinks and flavours when they let go a little bit and immerse themselves in our concept, trusting the bartender’s expertise. One of our expressed goals was to take people out of their comfort zones with their drinks. Some of our guests seldom stray from the French Martini or Cosmo, so it fills us with joy to surprise people with flavour combinations they never knew they would love, like fig and cumin for instance or raspberry and Dijon mustard."

While the duo are winding down their West End residency, they both have passion-projects they want to pursue. Watch out for what Wheesht do next.    

111 by Modou

Glasgow Times:

It's a story that went around the world. Modou Diagme is Senegalese, but spent most of his early years in Spain. At the age of 18, he came over to Glasgow by himself with £200 in his pocket. He slept rough for 10 days, then found shelter in a church that helps the homeless. Eventually he found a permanent place to stay.

After a year of applying for jobs with no success, he stumbled across Nico Simeone’s advert looking for kitchen porters. Over the next six years he learned the fundamentals of cooking and proved himself to be a leader in the kitchen. He became Head Chef.  

I've watched Modou prepare food at the pass many times during service. The level of care that was invested in each course at 111 by Nico under his watch was extraordinary.

Nico Simeone gave the restaurant to Modou last week. It's his place now. Clips of the moment Modou became an owner have been shared across social media. A much-needed good news story.

He said: "This opportunity is completely life-changing for me and for my family back home. My hard work has paid off, but more so, this is a really special to me as Nico is like a brother. I am more than ready for this next chapter at 111 and I look forward to showing everyone in the industry what myself and my team can do here."

111 by Modou plan to open at the start of April. Timelines are a bit of a moveable feast these days, but whenever they are ready, I will be one of the first people through the door.