The Merchant City quarter has been a central part of Glasgow’s reinvention since the brand mavens got to work in the 1980s. Here you find slick bars, restaurants & designer shops, often in refurbished buildings. Blackfriars, however, has a rather different appeal with its slightly shabby interior, live bands & basement club sessions. Obviously more of a music bar than a traditional pub, it still manages to offer a good & ever-changing selection of real ales from breweries including Burton Bridge, Cairngorm & Inveralmond – also fine bottled beers from Europe & craft breweries in the USA. The menu is decent, ranging from sandwiches & baked potatoes to burgers, chilli or fish & chips. Some evenings there is live music in the bar; otherwise, catch a quieter moment & settle down with some macaroni cheese & a bottle of Sawtooth from the Left Hand Brewing Company of Colorado.