One bonobo's view of the world...and stuff.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

A whole hill of Beanscenes

On my Facebook earlier today, I mentioned that I was working/chatting/whatever by Wifi. This was from a Beanscene café, a chain that’s rapidly become a Glasgow (and Edinbugger) institution.

The coffee’s pretty so-so (still way better than The Big S! But they need to learn the magic word:
Illy.), but maybe that will change with the new management. There’s certainly a better range of food now – and even wine and beer (not sure these are A Good Thing. Their previous corkage regime worked just fine). Also…while the WiFi’s cheap (an hour with every purchase), as a Moral Principle, all WiFi should be free! (or, at very least, unlimited with purchase).

So what’s so great about Beanscenes?

We first started going to the original one in Shawlands when our first two were born, twelve years ago. This is highly significant! They define the Platinum Standard in child friendliness. They actively encourage Parent and Baby groups to meet there, informally…and, of course, this is great for business. Mid morning they’re generally stowed out with buggies, babies and Yummy Mummies.

  • They’re also a great place for teens to hang out.
  • They’re the venue for Bright Young Muslim Things. No alcohol (until...)
  • They’re nice and quiet for business meetings and the like. I did all my e-mails there today. In another corner, I guy I know was sat with someone with files and laptop and briefcases all piled up.
  • There are not many places you can sit and eavesdrop on a conversation which turns out to be about managing stenosis in neonates.
  • I meet my Community Psychiatric Nurse for appointments there.
  • Their playlist is All The Good Stuff…Yusuf Islam, Blur, Van ‘The’ Morrison, Beatles, Neil Young, Dylan, Doors, Rufus Wainwright, Martha Wainwright Outkast…you get the drift. I want their playlist! (Mind you…my barista – I hope the *don’t* call them that - complained that it’s not big enough so it gets repetitive)
  • They promote/manage their own label (still? not sure)
  • They do evening gigs, readings, writers groups.
  • Their House Photographer is Ken Sharp. Today, from where I was seated, I could see Johnny Cash, Willie Nelson, Van, Polly Harvey. Bjork and Lou Reed were around the corner. Keef was by the toilet door.
  • Sure, it’s a mainstream commercial enterprise and I’m not saying there’s and interstitial about them. But not a hint of Central Perk, either. There’s usually one nearby. They’re an institution!

Beanscene, Clarkston Toll, Sunday.

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