Haylynn Canteen is ready to make a play for the title of Glasgow’s coolest neighbourhood cafe. Restricted to a takeaway menu for almost the entirety of its short existence, Whiteinch residents will see a different side of their emerging local hangout on Dumbarton Road when indoor dining returns on 26 April.

In the meantime, you can pick up bagels stuffed with a delicious mound of pork belly, celeriac remoulade, piccalilli and pea shoot or a high-concept piece loaded with roast chicken, slow roasted pepper, chorizo and watercress, presented between wedges of toasted sourdough bread from The Freedom Bakery.

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The dining room is bright, modern and decorated with pop art with the venture already attracting attention from locals.

After an interrupted debut, this summer could be a time to shine.

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Owner Robbie Morrow started his chef story at Catch 22, a seafood bar on Bath Street. He moved on to Number 16 on Byres Road, working his way up through the ranks in the kitchen. After seven years, the owner encouraged Robbie to try his luck in Australia. Inspired by the chance to experience a new food scene, he booked flights and dived into the Melbourne life, securing a job working for Masterchef Australia judge George Calombaris at his restaurant, The Press Club.

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“The culinary scene out there is amazing, the standard of food and the cafe culture, that was the beginning of my idea to come back here and start a cafe.” Life went in a different direction for a while – Robbie helped open Tabac and spent time working at a private members club in Switzerland, “It was at a resort so I got a ski lift to work each morning, up in the Alps”.

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He joined the team at Alchemilla, then came the opportunity to open Eighty-Eight in Partick, which drew warm reviews. He describes the next stage as: “I decided to go it alone and open up my own place in the middle of a pandemic.”

The space now occupied by Haylynn Canteen was once The Cabin restaurant that served generations in Whiteinch for 125 years before closing in 2015. When he committed to the idea of opening a cafe, Robbie realised the ideal location was staring him in the face.   

“I’d moved into the area. Like most chefs, I need my coffee and I couldn’t find anywhere nearby to buy one. It seemed like a gap in the market and it made sense to start here. There might be other things later on for me, other venues that suit different neighbourhoods, but this is what I saw as the right type of place to open here.”

At the moment, it’s just Robbie working in the kitchen and serving coffees from the door. Soon, the doors will be open and the cafe will fully take shape. “We had four days open in December then we flipped to a takeaway from Boxing Day. We’ve had a lot of praise from the neighbours here and people in the area have been really supportive. We’re also getting visitors from Broomhill, Jordanhill and the southside.

“We started with an empty shell and there’s a lot of work that has gone into it. We’ve built this from scratch.” To add to the character of the building, Robbie says they’ve donated their corner wall as a canvas for local street artists, with the artwork changing every two months.

Haylynn Canteen is very much a personal project that will reflect Robbie’s personality and attitude to food. “I’ve been lucky enough to work with owners that have given me free rein, and Eighty-Eight was very much aligned to what my style of food is.

"When we can open the doors this is going to be a brunch cafe. We have adapted the menu for takeaway but I’m looking forward to getting back to putting food on plates.”

New dishes will soon be more prominent: “We will continue to offer takeaway over the summer but I’m going to have a menu for sit-in that very much reflects the Melbourne cafe culture that I love. It will be more than just popping an egg on top. There will be meat dishes but I want to appeal to vegetarians and vegans too, I enjoy that kind of cooking.

“It’s going to be light, seasonal, bringing in different influences, including local ingredients and flavours. The menu will change constantly and will push me as a chef. It’s going to be exciting coming into work and seeing what we can bring together.”  

Juicy Arrives on Byres Road

It was ten years ago that Fallon Carberry started Blow Colour Bar, adopting a bold style and turning a visit to the hair salon into a social experience.

Glasgow Times:

There are three locations – Queen Street, Finnieston and Shawlands - that are inundated with bookings till the end of the year as lockdown restrictions are relaxed and we all emerge with a new appreciation for the value of a haircut.

Now, the energetic business owner is ready to introduce a fresh concept, the city’s first acai bar on Byres Road offering cold-pressed juices.

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Her own interest in health and wellbeing brought her to the conclusion that this was to be the next move. “I’m so into my fitness, all I do is live and breathe it. This has been something I’ve wanted to do for a while. When I go abroad to places like London and New York I see so many of these juice bars and I think Glasgow needs this. 

"I have been studying it and building relationships with the fitness community. I think this is the right time to open when people are thinking more about their health. Folk are looking after themselves, particularly the younger generation.

"I think the drinking culture has shifted so this is something in the west end for these customers that’s part of a healthy lifestyle. Don’t underestimate how many people are looking for a bit of goodness in their food and drink in Glasgow.”

Juicy UK will also be offering protein-packed lunch bowls and plant-based convenience foods to go, working with food nutritionist Natalie Blue. Fallon sees the Byres Road location as the first step on an ambitious roll-out that could see other units appearing across Glasgow and other parts of Scotland.

The first Juicy UK will open at the end of the month, around the same time as bars reopen: “We have a great sense of enthusiasm, a passion for what we want to achieve. We will be ready to welcome people in and will be out on the street handing out free ginger shots on the first weekend for good, healthy fun.”