Glasgow's Chinaski Bar Pays Homage To Charles Bukowski

The works of Charles Bukowski have amassed a cult-like following worldwide, and online forums dissect his poetry and stories. One Glaswegian establishment is named for one of Bukowski's characters Henry Chinaski. Chinaski is thought to be an autobiographical representative of Bukowski and appears in several of Bukowski's pieces. In the film Barfly, Chinaski is seen drinking in L.A. establishments, but had the character found his way to Scotland, he surely would have approved of central Glasgow's Chinaski's. 

With photographs and other knickknacks, Chinaski's is filled with tributes to the late writer. On a brick wall facing the outdoor beer garden, Bukowski quotes are spray painted on the building's exterior. When the weather is suitable, Glaswegians spill into the outdoor terrace to lounge beneath umbrella awnings and stretch out on wooden picnic benches. Chinaski's is significantly sharper and cleaner than the American dive bars Chinaski would haunt, yet the prolific list of food and drink options would keep Chinaksi himself occupied. Though Chinaski's might be named for a messy character, the menus are anything but sloppy, and cocktails and dishes are presented with pride in the cozy, candlelit space.

When art and drinks collide

Many of Chinaski's cocktails are made with Bukowski in mind. The For Jane — named after a poem Bukowski wrote for a lover who tragically died — is a drink made with handcrafted gin, yellow chartreuse, and lemon. Bukowski's poem "Flophouse" serves as inspiration for a cocktail mixed with pisco, lychee liqueur, orange wine, and basil; while his darker work "Cause And Effect" offers its name for a libation made with mezcal, Aperol, and lime.

For those needing sustenance, a seasonal food menu lists small plates, mains, pizza, and vegan options. Daters and groups of friends can choose from comforting classics like mac and cheese or fish and chips served with peas, pickled onions, and tartare. Bao buns also keep hunger pangs at bay, while burgers adorned with gojuchang, pickled red chillis, or edam provide tasty twists on standard recipes. Vegans may enjoy garlic and rosemary focaccia or broccoli served with tahini dressing and sesame seeds.

Sunday roast and hangover cocktails are tailored to Glaswegians feeling the effects of rambunctious Saturdays, and to further encourage weekend revelry, Chinaski's schedules an energetic lineup of DJs pumping beats ranging from 70s disco to industrial and post-punk tunes. Bukowski described his first taste of alcohol as "magic," and Chinaski's seems determined to deliver much of the same.