Quick Bite: Lunch at The Citizen

It’s an impressive open space, with high ceilings and design touches that highlight the heritage of the building. At first it might feel a bit fancy but generic – a bright, shiny recreation of a drinking salon from another undefined time and place – but there are clear signs that Glasgow is shining through, both in the room and on the menu.

The name is a nod to the past by owners Di Maggio Restaurant Group, who also have the nearby Anchor Line and The Atlantic.

This handsome red brick building was once where copies of the Evening Citizen newspaper were prepared and printed.

Spot pictures of local citizens on the walls by Charles Hamilton, a street photographer who specialises in portraits. There’s pop art by street artist Lowdown.

The team behind The Citizen spent months at The Mitchell Library archives singling out interesting headlines, stories, old adverts, and photographs to punctuate the walls in the building. Then, an appeal on Lost Glasgow, connected them with retired Evening Citizen photographer Stewart Fair, who happily donated original images and newspaper articles from his time at the paper.

He began his working life at The Citizen, in 1953, as a lift boy, before moving up the tree to darkroom duties. It was only when he returned from his National Service, with the RAF, in 1958, that the editor let him loose with a camera. His images in the restaurant include a snap of world famous ballet dancer Margot Fonteyn rehearsing at the King’s Theatre.

Looking around, one of the most obvious features in the main room is the Tennent’s Tank Beer system, the first time this way of delivering a pint has been used in Scotland since the 1980s. It offers a fresh take on the familiar.

Sit at a booth at the front for the best view of the bar and a more casual feel than the tables at the back of dining room.

We’ve visited occasionally for a drink to start or finish the night in recent months.

On Sunday, we popped in for lunch. The food hits a lot of different marks, offering the kind of bistro fare that would suit different types of diners and moods. The lunch menu of two courses for £13.95, where you can add a dessert for £4 offers good value.

Mix and match between hefty comfort food like haggis, neeps and tatties or fish and chips with lighter Asian salads or familiar brunch items like eggs Benedict. Order drinks and take advantage of the expansive bar selection. The Citizen is a grand place to linger on a sunny afternoon.

Also, we must mention the Editor’s Lounge. A separate room, kitted out like a modern, plush members bar, this is a charming hangout, hidden in plain sight on St Vincent Place. Ask if it is open when you visit.

The Citizen
24 St Vincent Place
G1 2EU

T: 0141 222 2909

Opening Times

Sunday 12 noon – midnight
Monday – Saturday 11am – midnight