‘Deagh Bhiadh, Deagh Bheannachd’ meaning ‘Well fed, well blessed’, the Gaelic proverb displayed on the wall of the Cafe Gandolfi is the inspiration for everybody who eats here, writes Seumas, owner of Cafe Gandolfi. The iconic Glasgow restaurant celebrated it’s 40th Birthday in 2019, and, with it’s unchanging, historic interior, unfailing menu and unbroken values of hospitality and warmth; I wanted to capture the spirit and architecture of the place through looking and drawing; enjoying a few coffees along the way. It is said that Gandolfi introduced the first Cappuccino machine to the city.
The interior has remained much the same over the years, admired furniture maker, a fellow graduate of the Glasgow School of Art, created the sinewy, sculpture-like yet comfortable tables and chairs. ‘With a patina acquired through constant use, the furniture is even more beautiful now than it was 30 years ago’ comments Seumas. Originally the offices for the Cheese Market, the dark stained timber lined walls add to the warmth and wear of this familiar place, large windows adorned with Glass painter John Clark’s “A flock of fishes”, bring light and colour to the interior.
‘Gandolfi had a warmth, a magic about it, a comfortable, unselfconscious feel. That hasn’t changed and continuity is a major part of its allure. People return time and time again, sometimes after a year, two years or more and the restaurant is the same, the heart of the menu is the same and that’s the beauty of the place’ comments Seumas.