Small theatre based in a converted church, where the beer garden and restaurant are as much a draw as the programme of plays, gigs and comedy
One of many converted churches around Glasgow (see also Oran Mor), Cottiers inhabits the imposing, neo-gothic former Dowanhill Parish Church at the top of Hyndland Street, and has done since 1992. The theatre part of the Cottiers operation – which also encompasses a busy bar and restaurant – is back in full business now, after experiencing a drawn-out five-year hiatus between 2006 and 2011, as essential repairs in the 150 year-old building dragged on longer than originally anticipated.
The extensive beer garden, hugging the south west corner of the church, is one of Cottiers’ key selling points during the warm months, when a barbecue also operates. By night and during the winter months, the bar is an atmospheric refuge from the wind and rain, with its rustic stone floor and vintage décor, candlelit tables and open fire, not to mention a good beer range and bar menu. The more formal restaurant is situated in the attic above, and does contemporary Scottish fare in low-lit, romantic surroundings. A typical menu can include starters of chicken liver pâté with melba toast and roast red pepper chutney or Stornoway black pudding fritters with spiced apple chutney, and mains of seafood linguine or slow roast barbecue pork belly with potatoes dauphinoise.
The theatre seats 206 people, and presents a regular and diverse programme of independent and community theatre productions, as well as the odd gig and comedy show, against an impressive backdrop of stained glass windows and ornate timberwork. Since 2013, further adding to the number of converted churches in Glasgow’s West End, Cottiers has also been presenting shows in the nearby Webster’s Theatre, a pop-up performance space based in the old Lansdowne Parish Church by Kelvin Bridge.
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93-95 Hyndland Street