This eccentric speciality tea-house and music venue offers proof that the lanes are where the good stuff is at in Glasgow
Don’t come to Tchai-Ovna looking for a boring builder’s brew – it’s all about teas from China, Japan, Vietnam, Nepal and elsewhere here. World influences abound on the vegetarian menu, too, from baba ganoush to chipotle chilli – and they also rent out hookah pipes for smoking shisha tobacco outside.
Entertainment ranges from spoken-word events to jazz sessions and folk and acoustic concerts. It probably goes without saying, but don’t expect to see any big name bands at Tchai-Ovna (even if Belle and Sebastian did shoot the cover art for their 2003 album ‘Dear Catastrophe Waitress’ here).
With redevelopment looming, the threat of closure sadly always seems to hang over Tchai-Ovna, as it does all of the cool little independent businesses on Otago Lane. There’s a community campaign dedicated to defending it. If you’re charmed by your visit – and if you go in with an open mind, you definitely will be – then lend them your support.
42 Otago Lane