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The Corinthian occupies a prominent position in the Merchant City of Glasgow. The building is beautiful inside and out, and used to be more popular then it is now. That said - we are in recession. As you enter the Corinthian you have the choice of several bars and the restaurant. The Main Bar is literally straight ahead as you enter and is a stunning spectacle. A large room with beautiful high ceilings and a large central bar. In the evenings this bar is open until 3am and its FREE entry. The door staff are strict but pleasant. The Corinthian aims mainly at an older crowd of late 20s - 30s. Once inside it is less uptight than similar bars, and the relaxed atmosphere ensures a good night out in the right company. The bar staff are pleasant, and its never chock full of people so generally the waiting time for drinks isn't prohibitive. Sadly the bar was very quiet the last time we were in, but the music was a good selection from class Michael Jackson to more up to date. Perfect mix for a good relaxed night. The drinks aren't any more expensive than many bars in the Merchant City, and they have a reasonable selection. The restaurant generally offers good set deals, and the only time I have eaten in there the food was reasonable and good. Definately worth a try.
While I admit that the corinthian is visually quite spectacular, I would have to say that I think it has gone downhill as a nighttime venue in the couple of years since it opened. Yes, the different bars mean that you can move around and they are all very nicely decorated. The entry price of £5 at the weekend means that you are in a bar and downstairs club venue until late and I would say that this is value for money. The reason I am not over enthusiastic I suppose is because I haven't ever had a great night there. The clientele is very mixed and my mum (who is a young 58) also goes from time to time - can you see how this would put your average 26 year old girl off\?????!!!!! I like a mix of music and go to lots of different clubs round Glasgow. I'm not particularly shy or wildly outgoing. The sort of people who come up and talk to me in Corinthian have been known to say things 'nice tits' EXCUSE ME!!!! I guess it's each to their own but it seems the Corinthian is not attracting the totally sophisticated crown that it could with it grandiose appearance. I know that there is a VIP loung and last time I was there apparently Sporty Spice was there but the luninaries are kept well away from the main bar!
Housed in the former Glasgow High Court (191 Ingram Street) this is an enormous building with a number of distinct areas. It has been designed to appeal to a slightly older crowd – 25 and upward and is packed each weekend. Each bar area has a different feel. Once you get past the pleasant, but no nonsense, stewards you will find the Piano and cocktail bars on your left and right. Both these bars have a classic look with their timber paneling, mirrors and leather chairs. These rooms have a laid-back vibe and are probably the best bars to quietly chat in. The Main Bar is visually spectacular – chandeliers hang from a roof that is dominated by an ornate glass dome. This room could easily be too large to be a bar and when empty it can feel a bit cold. However this has been successfully avoided with a number of booths and tables around the walls and in the centre of the room. This leads to a relaxed but lively drinking area. Unlike almost all other bars in Glasgow this one is open until 3am with no entry fee. Maybe that’s why it is so popular. Downstairs is the club area. “Life” is open on Thursday through to Saturday. This is an unusual club space built around the former High Court’s jail cells. Entry usually costs a fiver. Again the place is full of soft leather sofas and low-key lighting. It’s all very cool but I’m not too sure that this works – there are four or five separate areas (the former holding cells) which tends to kill the atmosphere somewhat. I have been told that this is due to be refurbished into one large floorspace but whether that is fact or fiction I have no idea. The music on offer is fairly standard dance – nothing too cheesy but not exactly cutting edge either – remember this place is not for the teenage clubber. Back upstairs and you find the restaurant. Having never eaten there I can’t really comment on the food but it looks great – stained glass, fantastic ceiling and very clever lighting. If the food tastes half as good as this place looks then it must be manna from heaven. There is also a private dining room that is very popular with Glaswegian celebrities. Apparently this can be hired by anyone. When I speak of Glaswegian celebs I’m really talking about Celtic and Rangers players. The place is full of them – this is probably due to the private members bar on the first floor. I think this is the only bar of this type in Glasgow. 200 quid a year and 250 quid joining fee means that I have never been up there but I imagine that it’s a bit flash. My overall impression of the Corinthian is of a bar that is trying very hard to be cool and mostly succeeding. All too often places like this fall flat on their face. It won’t appeal to everyone – some of the punters are a bit too filled with their own importance but overall it’s worth a visit. A spectacular place to have a drink.
The Corinthian is ideally situated for wining and dining in the city centre - physically it is a fantastic building - inside and out. The staff are friendly and helpful....so where does it all go wrong?? Well, the menu boasts a whole host of mouth-watering yummies BUT unless you have already eaten before you go there - this is not the place for you! I ordered the Wood Smoked Chicken served with a mixed Salad and Toasted Hazelnut dressing as my MAIN course - there was scarcely enough chicken to top a RITZ Cracker, the salad was un-imaginative and tasteless. The dressing was a tad on the scarce side .....still, lets have a nice big pudding to full up on - the Apple & Blackberry Crumble sounded as if it would fit the bill......sadly no. It had NO taste whatsoever and was soggy not crumbley. Perhaps I was just there on a 'bad night' - unfortunately first impressions count a lot with regards to restaurants and I won't be giving it another chance to redeem itself.