As a musician, Biggars is somewhere I frequent quite a lot to get anything from sheet music to guitar picks to trumpet oil. I play the piano, the guitar and the trumpet, so I'm always in for different things regarding each of those instruments.
Biggars is great because after I've finished purchasing all it is I need to buy, I can go sit in their quaint little coffee shop, buy a cup of the good stuff, and sit down and enjoy the free wifi they offer. Not bad for a day's sheet music shopping!
I really can be an arse sometimes. Looking back at my initial review, I appear to have went into a wee strop about this place not having wifi and boo hoo, boo hoo, moan, moan, moan!
Well, despite having to suppress a wee cringe of 'och man, did I really moan about that... whit a tool!', I must point to the fact that this place now has wifi (still an arse, but a smug arse).
So, it's been a good wee while since that initial review and having given up on the big nasty buck of star, I've been on the hunt for coffee shops with reliable wife and decent coffee in certain areas of town.
This place ticks a few boxes, wifi, lot's of seating, plugs, slightly better decor than before (still feels a wee bit like a converted shop floor... oh it is!) and friendly staff. I think the one down side of this place is the coffee, and hey, this goes for a good number of coffee shops in Glasgow.
Prick up your ears guys. Certain places in Glasgow have entirely upped the coffee quality in the past couple of years (Artisan, Papercup, Avenue G etc) and for those who like what these guys are doing *sticks hand up* going back to regular bean juice really, REALLY sucks.
Rant over. Decent place. It's on my wifi radar and may also have to pop in for some grub at some point.
A friend at the School of Art suggested we meet up at Biggars for a coffee. Not having had a chance to poke about to find more coffee shops on that end of Sauchiehall, I agreed.
In the end, I wasn't disappointed. I wasn't thrilled by it either, but it was comfortable enough for a sit and a cuppa. It's not a bad wee place, though it doesn't really distinguish itself much save for the music bit. (Having not gone upstairs, I can't really speak to it as a music store, which is a pity, seeing as I know enough about music to judge...ah well.)
As usual for the UK, the chai latte was too sweet, but it did appear to be made with real spices and tea rather than a flavoured syrup, which is a bonus. Prices were reasonable for the city centre, at least. As Dallis notes, it's a good place, tidy and clean, with acceptable hot drinks--worthwhile for getting out of the rain.
I'll agree with Lewis on this one. Biggars is definitely the place that your primary 4 music teacher would have pointed you towards. In fact, I think it's the reason I ever shopped here in the beginning.
Biggars are music specialists, but not specialists within music. That is to say, they have a great selection, and if you're a beginner it's undoubtedly the best place to shop, but if you're looking for niche products or something alternative, Biggars isn't necessarily the place to look.
Basically, it has made its mark, and is a Glasgow institution in terms of music. They aren't going anywhere.
I like this coffee shop, good music, nice selection of homemade cakes, and lastly free wi-fi.
I noticed on Biggars' website that it said they have been trading since the 1860's so they must know a thing or two about music. I was in here a while ago just to check it out and see what is on offer.
They have a huge archive of sheet music for sale in the shop, with even more online. Almost all kinds of instrument can be bought in here, from woodwind, brass and percussion to guitars and amps.
Now, being a drummer myself, I can only comment on their drum selection, and it is not very good. A more specialised drum shop would be better for this.
I assume this must be the case for other instruments as well, so it would be a good first port of call, but maybe not specialised enough for more advanced musicians.
I dashed into Biggars one day to escape the rain, because I thought it was a coffee shop. Well, it IS a coffee shop, but also with a huge selection of instruments and music.
This place has the type of coffee-shop atmosphere that most coffee places try to duplicate. It's clean, comfortable, and a great window to let you watch all the hurrying people on Sauchiehall Street. I find it's a great place to escape.
I always have to have a gander at the instruments; where I wish I could play the quitar and silently try to justify buying one by promising to play it every day. Alas, I always come out empty-handed, but for a few minutes in my mind, I'm a virtuoso.
In case you are thinking of learning the guitar (or any instrument, really), they give lessons. The staff are friendly and welcoming, don't be shy to approach them. They want to share the music.
Enjoy yourself, and after your leisurely stroll through the music, stop and have another coffee before you go.
Went here in October 2008 and was bitterly disappointed! Absolutely hopeless when it came to finding anyone who knew anything about guitars. We went downstairs to that department and asked the young assistant some questions about a Godin guitar we wanted to buy - they didn't stock it and knew nothing about how to obtain one. When the older man came off the phone he ignored us and didn't try to help. We then went over to Merchant City Music where the staff knew exactly what we were looking for and couldn't have been friendlier either! (Shall add that review later) Probably good for pianos or sheet music but I definitely wouldn't recommend Biggars to an experienced guitarist.
This place has gone downhill - it prides itself on being a knowledgable and traditional kind of shop, but it's level of chock and range of choice suggest otherwise. It seems more interested in being a cafe thesedays than a proper music shop.
Biggars is a music shop with a long tradition behind it. However the competition from the internet these days for such specialist stores must be intense, and they have tried to adapt to the times by making it more of a drop in experience, with a cafe prominently to the fore. Staff are helpful and sometimes knowledgeable, but the location means it is still very quiet, which is a shame. There is a huge section at the back, and rooms upstairs which hardly ever seem to have anyone in them.
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