3-5 Duke St, Glasgow G4 0UL, UK
A little off the beaten track, McCune Smith sits in Glasgow's historic heart, and from the outside, looks as though it has survived as long — its pared back styling and simple monochrome colours mark it out from the rest of the city's cafés.
Its double fronting, with room for a couple of outdoor tables facing onto Duke Street, open into a large café space with local art on the walls and local products to buy — from Dear Green, who roast their coffee two minutes south, to Glasgow honey, there is a sense that everything has been handpicked by the owners to reflect a particular ethos. It comes across well. The coffee is well made — whether espresso or filter, both are on offer — and the food menu changes seasonally too.
The name, McCune Smith, is an interesting one too. James McCune Smith was the first African American to achieve a medical degree in the world, and he got it at Glasgow's Old College. A passionate and early abolitionist, the owners of this café see a distillation of many aspects of Glasgow's history in his story, and wanted to celebrate that. One would imagine that the thinkers of the Scottish Enlightenment, of which he was a part, would have spent a lot of time in cafés such as this — simple, unfussy, with space to think, and great coffee being brewed.
Reviewed by Harry Harris; image courtesy of the venue.
Coffee + Drinks
- Coffee Machine
- Caffia Synchro
- Coffee Grinder
- House Roaster
- Dear Green