September 25, 2016

Here at All Bartenders, we love hearing about upcoming venues – including bars, café and restaurants.

One particular new opening is Chaakoo Bombay Café, yet to rise in Glasgow’s city centre. With a name like that, you can’t help but be enticed, so we spoke with the bar manager to hear all about the latest new café.

What are some details about your new venue?

Our concept is creating a revival of the criminally lost Irani Bombay cafés of the 1950’s.

We will be located on St. Vincent Street in Glasgow’s city center, two doors down from our sister restaurant, Topolabamba.

What’s different about your bar compared to other Glasgow venues?

Our concept is very specific, so the bar must match this.

The food will be high quality Indian street food, served in small plates. To match this idea, Chai Tea is an important part of our selection, with its sweet warmth and charm that will settle you in for some good grub, and bring you back down once you have eaten.

We will also be serving lassis, a refreshing yogurt-based drink which balances out the mad intensity you can expect from many parts of Indian cuisine.

For those with a sweet tooth, we will have a selection of simple and classic milkshakes, keeping us in the 50’s, and reawakening the big kid in us all.

Our cocktail list is simple yet elegant, with each drink paying some kind of homage to the multiculturalism in India that has led to some of the most interesting food in the world, and of course, these wonderful forgotten cafés.

Can you tell us a bit about your menu?

Certainly. As I said, the cocktails will be simple, elegant and celebratory.

We have three sections; our Signature Serves, a section named the Streets, which showcases the vast wonder and flavour at the human level of Mumbai, and a section named the Palace, which reflects British influence and all the colourfull extravagance of the Bollywood film.

Who will we see working behind there?

We have started our hiring process and we are off to a good start.

More than anything, we are looking for some unique characters with distinct personalities. We want our customers to have a fun and comfortable experience, just like the cafés that influenced us.

How will you ensure that customers have a memorable experience every time they visit your bar?

By creating an environment and atmosphere where it will be impossible not to.

Everything from our staff to our decor has been thought out, many of which could be considered a little unusual, but very quirky.

I don’t want to give away too much just now, but I can confidently say that it is more than memorable.

If someone wanted to open their own venue, what’s a great starting point?

I wouldn’t consider myself fully qualified to judge what would be a good starting point as I am just a part of a larger team.

I suppose it would be to surround yourself with an ambitious and energetic team, each with their strengths and skills.

If you band together, watch each other’s backs and do it for the right reasons, I feel you could almost sit back and watch things fall into place.

What are some common mistakes you see bars and cafés making?

Forgetting that you are there for your customer.

Far too often I have seen customers get scowled at for simple things like asking for a menu.

We all know that certain members of the public can be difficult, but we are there for them, and frankly, making a customer’s day a little brighter makes mine all the better.

Where did your inspiration come from to open a bar? 

I wish I was organised enough to open something as intricate as what we are building here, but the credit has to go to our boss.

He just has so much passion and drive for the project that we cannot help but be inspired.

What does excellent customer service mean to you? 

It’s a tough one because everyone is different.

To put it broadly, I guess it is as simple as being attentive and friendly without being invasive. But this isn’t true for everyone however.

I’ve had customers in my time that want to sit until the death talking to their servers or bartenders. Others want to be left alone completely.

So I would say that working out what the customer needs, reacting to it and if at all possible, being able to do it without being asked puts you onto a winning formula.

When would customers visit your new gem?

We will be open from breakfast onward. We want to cater to your every situation.

Personally, I would come here for some cracking small plates and a lassi to get me through the day. However, if you are looking for a chai tea and a catch-up, you would be more than welcome.

We certainly will be coming in for a catch-up with friends, and judging by the description of the menu, ordering a 50s-inspired milkshake. Why not!

Stay posted for the official opening date and if you’re in Glasgow, keep your eyes peeled for this new café – the hottest trend in the hospitality realm.