You can now have a coffee in former public toilets in Glasgow

Coffee shops and cafes are everywhere in Glasgow, especially the west end. But this one is a little bit different...

Published 22nd May 2017
Updated 9 th Aug 2023

Situated in an enviable position right by the Eldon Street entrance to Kelvingrove Park, these former public toilets had been closed for about 25 years until planning permission was sought in 2014 and granted in 2015.

Picture: The former toilets before becoming Chaiwallah, BeanYet Ltd Facebook

With a proposal to turn the site into a cafe with roof terrace, a community hub and free mobility scooter hire, this was to be a lunch- stop with a difference.

Speaking about the project to STV, Stephen Young, director of BeanYet Ltd who were awarded the lease for the loos, said: "The idea is quite simple - to set up a community hub offering a range of services, including the start of a free mobility scooter hire fleet for the disabled."

"We want to bring the life back into the community, no matter who you are. This hub can bring in older people out into the public, and allow disabled children to enjoy themselves and live a more normal childhood in the park areas."

Picture: Chaiwallah Facebook

Now open, Chaiwallah Cafe is serving up a range of lunch options from gourmet cheese toasties to homemade soups. Sweet treats are a mouth-watering selection of home-baking, including empire biscuits, scones, chocolate cake, cheesecake and Victoria sponge.

Ingredients for the food and drinks are local, with cheese from I.J Mellis, loose leaf tea from Tchai Ovna and bread from Seb & Mili's. The cafe also offers gluten free options, including cakes from Sharon McLaughlin's Healthy Kitchen Co.


Picture: Chaiwallah Facebook

With a roof terrace opening soon, hopefully in time for some summer sunshine, and the Park Mobility hire and charging points up and running, Chaiwallah is staying true to its plans as a community hub whilst offering a convenient pit stop for all.

Known for cake making, experimental jam recipes, Champagne, whisky and gin drinking (and the inability to cook Gnocchi), Rosalind is the Food and Drink Editor and whisky writer for The Scotsman, as well as hosting Scran, The Scotsman's food and drink podcast.
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