Naked Soup

In the heart of Glasgow's West End, Naked Soup has undergone a fascinating transformation – from a classic greasy spoon to a distinctive blend of daytime cafe and evening bar. We sat down with Josh and Daniel, the brothers behind this evolution, to uncover the journey from its unassuming beginnings to becoming a thriving community space.

"Was Naked Soup always envisioned as a dual day-night space?" The story unfolded, revealing that Naked Soup was, in fact, a takeover. The establishment, retaining its original name, was a simple breakfast spot offering morning rolls, breakfast, and lunch sandwiches. Josh and Daniel stepped in, seizing the opportunity, and maintained the existing concept until the game-changing arrival of Covid.

As the pandemic swept through and wreaked havoc on many businesses, for Josh and Daniel, it proved to be a silver lining. "I know a lot of people don’t see it, but it was the best thing that happened to us," they agreed. Government grants provided a lifeline, offering the space and time to sit down, reassess, and plan for the future.

The duo decided to take a bold step. "The alcohol thing only happened during lockdown," they shared. With a fresh aesthetic and the introduction of a distinct character, the transformation began in earnest. The cafe, initially established over nine years ago, found its true identity four years into its journey.

Reflecting on their journey, the duo shared their lockdown travels through parts of Europe. Visits to Barcelona, Berlin, and southern Spain inspired their vision of a cafe-bar lifestyle. "There are coffee shops, but you go to the pub for a beer, and there's kind of no one between," they explained, envisioning a seamless transition from morning coffees to evening drinks.

Creating a seamless blend between daytime and evening experiences wasn't without its challenges. "How do you think you guys have done so well at creating that changeover?". The answer revolved around meticulous attention to detail, honing in on ambiance, and overcoming the initial separation between daytime and evening clientele.

Integral to Naked Soup's identity is its distinctive branding, a collaboration with an illustrator based in New Zealand “It's a bit unique because we've never actually met him. He's a friend of a friend who used to work here, and we've been working together through DMs for years.” said Josh. 

A significant part of Naked Soup's story is its relationship with Thomsons. This collaboration has been instrumental in enhancing the café's offerings, providing patrons with high-quality, locally-roasted coffee. This partnership aligns with the ethos of both Naked Soup and Thomsons Coffee, emphasizing quality, community, and a passion for crafting exceptional experiences. 

Naked Soup prides itself on offering a unique experience. "It's not the most glamorous stuff, it's not your brunch and your avocado and your poached egg," they explained. The menu boasts a blend of old-school simplicity with a modern twist, appealing to a diverse audience seeking a break from the ordinary. “It’s exactly what you want up here in Glasgow” and we couldn’t agree more.

Delving into the importance of ambiance, the brothers emphasised the significance of music and its role in creating a comfortable and inviting atmosphere. "The ambience and the feeling you get when you come into a place, it's so vital to us," they stressed. “You see people holding shazam up to the speakers and that’s kinda cool”.

You can find their playlists here: 

Naked Soup doesn't just stop at daytime and evening offerings. The introduction of pop-up supper clubs injects a sense of novelty. "It keeps it exciting for us, the staff, and the customers, to just do something different every day," they explained, highlighting the flexibility that comes with collaborations.

 Reflecting on Glasgow's evolving culinary scene, the brothers expressed their admiration for the city's transformation. From traditional pubs to innovative eateries, Glasgow has witnessed a surge in young owners and a growing passion for diverse and exciting food options. “We love Celentanos at the moment, the food is fantastic. We haven’t eaten at Big Counter yet but it’s on the hit list. It just seems like the food you’d want to eat”.

 As we concluded our conversation, we delved into Naked Soup's future plans. While keeping the Naked Soup sacred, the brothers hinted at potential expansion “Obviously we don’t want to give too much away but this space is quite small, which works at the moment…”.

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