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Issue 48 - Success comes from running a tight Chip

Whisky Magazine Issue 48
June 2005


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Success comes from running a tight Chip

The Ubiquitous Chip is celebrating 30 years at its current location and throughout whisky has been key to its success. Dominic Roskrow visited

Thirty years in the restaurant business is impressive anywhere.

In Glasgow it represents a lifetime. For back in the 70s the city had little at all in the way of a dining culture. What it did have tended to come courtesy of the city's Italian residents.

And when it came to finding anywhere with Scottish, well don't be silly. Quality Scottish cuisine?

The Ubiquitous Chip was a ground breaking idea when it first opened in 1971. And when owner Ronnie Clydesdale moved it to Ashton Lane off Byres Road in the West End of Glasgow, it was already proving to be a major success.

Today it is still going strong, still run by the family, and now at the heart of one of Europe's most fashionable areas.

Known endearingly as The Chip, what makes it special is the fact that it has stuck doggedly to a set of fundamental principles and has not seen fit to reinvent itself.

As a result it has become something of an institution, a place that Glaswegians have grown up with and trust to deliver every time they visit. It commands loyalty as a result.

“We have seen people grow up and have 18th or 21st birthdays here, have engagement and marriage parties and even celebrate their divorce,” says Ronnie, who is preparing to hand over control of the business to his son.

“We have seen Glasgow change around us and now we find ourselves in the heart of a lively and vibrant area full of places to eat and drink. But still we retain our place and attract our regulars.”

From the outset a desire t...

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