5-7 Byres Road, Glasgow.
Douglas fell for the Scots and fed them.
Douglas Spencer is an Englishman who likes the Scots. He likes them so much in fact that he gave up what had been a lifetime’s work in the clothing industry and went into the catering trade, in Glasgow.
A native of Teddington, Middlesex, Douglas didn’t quite know what to expect when his firm sent him to this part of the world five years ago. But he came, saw, and fell hook line and sinker for the friendly Scots.
Olde worlde charm in the new Cartwheel Reasaurant in Byres Road, Glasgow 1971.
“I have so many friends in Scotland, I love people and the Glasgow people are wonderful. I had always wanted to go into the catering business and so I decided one day that I’d take the plunges, ” he explained. “It is a big step to change your whole life like that, but I really felt there was something lacking in the catering trade, cafes and restaurants have lost the personal touch which I think is vitally important. I go around and seak to all my customers and if I’m not here one afternoon I get it next time they come in, “Where were you?”
The venue that so many people are making a beeline for is in Byres Road, numbers 5-9 to be exact. That’s where Douglas and his wife Vicky, son Gordon and his young wife all work in one way or another to keep the public smiling.
Only the best.
“I didn’t worry about money,” Douglas told me. “I buy the best I can find, both in equipment and food, and I buy locally. If you buy quality you don’t get complaints and if no one’s complaining you can take it every-one’s happy, and that’s what I want, satisfied customers. And as long as there are satisfied customers there will be money going into the till… Too many people in this trade are only interested in chasing the money in the first place.”
The Spencer family opened their S & S Snack-bar only last September but already that family attitude, of “be friendly to the customer” is paying off handsomely. It’s not a take-it-or-leave-it quick cafe but more of a warm get-together of people you’d imagine had known one another all their lives. “We pride ourselves on having a snack bar with a difference.” Douglas told me. “We have waitress service and nothing is pre-cooked and we find customers don’t mind waiting those few extra moments if they know the food is going to be good once they get it.”
Examples of snack-bar prices: bacon roll 7p; egg burger, 15p; scrambled egg on toast, 16p; soup and roll, 7p; scampi salad, 48p; gammon steak 44p; bacon, egg, hamburger, tomato, mushrooms and chips, 32p.
Things were going so well in the snack-bar that Mr. Spencer decided the time was ripe for expansion, and when the shop next door became vacant, he took it over, set the workmen the task of turning it into a restaurant and patiently waited for the day he could set the opening date. A party officially launched the Cartwheel Restaurant on Sunday, but it wasn’t until yesterday that the doors were opened to an eager public.
Manager in charge of the new restaurant is young Alex Nicol while Gordon Spencer keeps an eye on the snack-bar, and overall manageress is attractive Linda Scott. Examples of the restaurant menu : Lobster soup, 30p; turtle soup, 20p; corn on the cob, 30p; melon 20p; salad, 50p; chicken Maryland, 80p; grilled kidneys with bacon, 60p.
The three heads of the world of cuisine are miss Joan Butlor, Harry Dempster and Brian Fulton.
Cartwheel Advert. 1971.
The Cartwheel advert 1977.
The Cartwheel advert 1979.