WATCH: A brief history on Guido’s Coronation Restaurant in Glasgow’s East End

“They’ve died out these shops - the old fashioned ones, the traditional ones. This area, it’s coming back.”
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Beneath the old railway bridge down the Gallowgate sits Guido’s Coronation Restaurant, an authentic family-run fish and chip shop which has been serving the people of Glasgow’s east end since 1939. Identifiable by its aqua-painted exterior and vintage gold sign it uniquely emits the aesthetic of a classic seaside cafe, an observation strengthened by its bright retro interior of orange leather booths, black and white tiled flooring and neon wall decor. This is one of the city’s highest rated chippies, and fondest among locals and regular visitors. 

Since its opening the shop has been run by the Corvi family who bought the premise shortly after immigrating from Italy. They initially landed in Bo’ness and began business there before moving west to Glasgow and expanding their catalogue across the east end and south side. 

Cristoforo currently operates the Coronation Restaurant, having taken over from his father Guido, who also took over from his father. We spoke to him during our visit and gave some insight on his family’s rich history.

“My grandfather, he bought this shop in 1939 and to this day it’s still here, he went through the whole war. You can imagine the abuse he would have took. My father went to school here, and his brothers and his sisters. When my grandfather eventually died he had nine shops around here, all around this area. We still have Valdoro on London Road, that’s my cousin’s. We also had some on Stockwell Street, the Gorbals. The police used to say the Corvi family looked after that part of the city. And no other Italian family ever came into this area because it was too rough, it was too hard. 

“In saying that there was nothing glamorous about it, they had an honourable time and fought. I remember when I was young and just a wee boy standing behind this counter, my father going round the back saying that four guys were going to kill him. That’s what they had to endure at that time. It has an amazing legacy my family and that’s why the shop’s still going.

“These people, it was a tough life they had here, fought for everything we got, worked like dogs you know. And they’ve died out these shops - the old fashioned ones, the traditional ones. This area, it’s coming back, there’s nicer cliental. Now after all these years, those hard times, when I took it over 30 years ago the area was in decline but it was going through a change. Now, nice buildings, different type of people, still the odd person who’ll give you grief but not as much as it was. This is now a nice time for the next generation to come in. The shop’s ready to go again shall we say. 

“We’re hitting the breaks so when we get busy we’re ready.”

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