Founded in 2011 in the former premises of Café Bayan on Argyll Street, this seafood restaurant and gin cocktail bar was just ahead of a wave of new openings in the area, which have seen it transform into one of the buzziest and busiest places to eat in Glasgow. The Finnieston has done well since then to hold its own against increasingly stiff competition, from the well-established likes of Crabbshakk across the road, and highly rated newcomers such as The Gannet.
With its wooden beams, snug booths and weather-beaten feel, the wonky-looking old two-storey building carries the air of an upscale seafront tavern. The same goes for the menu, which places an emphasis on Scottish-sourced, catch-of-the-day freshness, be it West Kilbride oysters, or small plates of blue shell Shetland mussels, or mains of hake, lemon sole, brill and monkfish.
Drinks-wise, it’s all about classy, grown-up concoctions here, predominately based around the 60-plus gins behind the bar at any given time. Try the Finnieston Club Cocktail (gin, house-made orange sherbet, lime juice, grenadine and Chartreuse Yellow), or a Rangoon Daisy (gin, maraschino, orgeat syrup, bitters and lime).
The smart, fine-dining feel at The Finnieston gradually changes as the night wears on, and the crowd slowly changes from eaters to drinkers, and a nice atmospheric buzz settles in the bar. The little beer garden out the back is a hidden gem on those rare fair Glasgow days.