For the past seven years the Glad Cafe has been running a packed programme of live music as well as art exhibitions, films, talks, comedy and theatre in our premises on the southside of Glasgow. We are a not for profit social enterprise with a brilliant staff team of 16 who make sure that our venue, cafe, Glad Rags shop and Glad Foundation music charity are providing our customers with a warm and friendly place to hear music, play music, eat, drink and participate.
We are based in a brilliant but crumbling listed building which we rent and share with 10 shops and 24 households. We open on to the street, but our actual premises run at ground level behind the tenement, and our roof provides a drying green and bin shelter area for the tenement flats.
Since opening in 2012 we have dreaded rain! Even though we've had help from the likes of a friend brushing water from the roof, or a choir member patching cracks in the bitumen, the drips continue to affect our whole Glad community. Cafe staff have to move customers away from the wet spots, the venue staff have to shift electrical equipment to safety, and the Glad Foundation manager regularly tries to keep the Glad Foundation room dry by placing buckets in the false ceiling. We've always wondered how to deal with this on-going problem, as fixing the roof properly has never been an affordable option and fraught with the difficulties that come along with listed building standards.
But at last we and our neighbours have been thrown a lifeline with the promise of grants from Glasgow City Heritage Trust and Glasgow City Council to cover half the costs of a complete refurbishment to the roofs, stonework and guttering of the whole building. However, we must all pay our share and the Glad Cafe's share is a whopping £40,000.
We are desperate to keep the Glad Cafe show on the road! Not just because WE love it, but because so many of YOU do!
We want to be able to keep our award winning venue and cafe open because it matters not only to those of us who work here, but to our wider Glad Community who are involved in all sorts of ways. Here's what some of them have to say:
As a freelance sound engineer I work in a lot of different venues. The Glad Cafe is a venue where I feel supported and respected by those running the venue and I see day in day out the care they take with those performing at the venue. That care very much extends to those attending the gigs and events at the venue.
Jer Reid, sound engineer and musician.
Great cafe with a fantastic staff, great live music and fab food
'As a relative newcomer to Glasgow, knowing very few people, I joined the Glad Café choir. It has been a real life changer as not only do I love the musical side of it but I have made so many new friends. The Glad Café has become so important to me - long may it continue.'
Ann Hutchison, member of the Glad Community Choir.
The Glad Cafe is the sort of place you could eat breakfast, lunch and dinner in and then get roped into going to see a band in the evening. You kind of don’t want to leave. It was a real joy to exhibit my art there. The space is really cool and everyone who works there is so easy going and helpful. I also sold quite a few pieces which makes it an excellent place to exhibit, since folks who visit the Glad Cafe clearly appreciate art and are willing to support the artist.
Gabi Froden, local artist
Had someone told me twenty years ago that one day a small coterie of idealists with business savvy would establish an ace southside music/arts/venue slash diner with great coffee and beer and a bang-on-the-money community ethos, I would have dismissed their ramblings as those of a wishful thinker, a beautiful dreamer. But here we are, and ther it still is, so please do what you can to keep a roof over the heads of all the thinkers and the drinkers, the mothers and the musos, for whom the Glad Cafe has become a home from home
Bill Walker, writer, contributor to the Glad literary and art zine.
‘Ciaran finds social occasions very stressful and his preference would always be to stay at home. However, he loves coming to the Glad Foundation and has benefited hugely from the careful, creative input of Emily and Joni who run his 'Glad Tuesdays' workshop. His music group gives him a space to express himself in ways which are comfortable to him. This is hugely important when verbal expression is not easy for him’.
Catriona Milligan, mother of Ciaran, a Glad Foundation pupil. (The Glad Foundation is our charity, which provides free and affordable music lessons and workshops to people living locally)
‘Glad Tuesdays is my favourite’. Ciaran Milligan. Aged 14