New Japanese-style 'listening bar' concept coming to Glasgow's Merchant City in Scottish first

Mamasan in the Merchant City is kitted-out with new high end kit and a festival grade sound system that will create an ambient listening bar - a Scottish first
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Mamasan has seen a massive renovation as it transforms into 'Scotland’s first listening bar' with a programme of impressive global DJs and exceptional sound quality set to soundtrack the city.  

Starting this weekend (Good Friday, March 29), it reinvents itself as an audio bar, following a comprehensive hi-fi overhaul and the installation of a bespoke, state-of-the-art sound system designed by sound engineers to elevate late-night cocktails and dining to an unparalleled auditory experience - a first for Scotland.

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DJs from Belle & Sebastian and Sub Club have already signed up to play, as Mamasan enters a new era as the country’s first dedicated listening bar.

Despite being named the vinyl-collecting capital of the UK, Glasgow hasn’t had an audio bar concept to call its own. Originating from 1950s Japan, the listening bar concept blends intimate dining with audiophile-grade music listening.

These venues, which emerged in Tokyo's small bars, cafes, and record stores, serve as a hub for music lovers seeking a relaxed environment to appreciate high-fidelity sound.

Catering to a change in nightlife habits and a love for high-fidelity audio, the new Mamasan direction introduces a trio of new core pillars Bar, BBQ and Records.

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An exciting roster of programming is set to play, featuring: Chris Geddes of Belle & Sebastian fame as well as Harri from Glasgow’s iconic Sub Club, & Nick Peacock from The Buff Club and session drummer & DJ Toni McVey, who plays with Joesef, and recently completed a tour with Jungle. Curated by music specialists, Open Ear, guests can expect an interesting lineup of global musicians playing vinyl in the heart of Glasgow.

This auditory feast is complemented with a brand new cooked over fire casual sharing menu crafted in partnership between top Scottish chef, Finn Steel-Perkins, and Great British Menu star, Ali Borer, alongside innovative cocktails from the bar.

The cutting-edge sound technology in Mamasan, complete with Danley’s renowned audio file quality, ensures every record is played back with the integrity and richness it was originally intended to convey. The venue has collaborated with leading music-tech brands including Technics, Pioneer, Master Sounds, Small Town Audio and Danley to unlock the full potential of recorded music, to elevate the guest experience for audiophiles and vinyl lovers alike. 

Alongside the music, guests can indulge in experimental cocktails from Mamasan’s bar or enjoy a brand-new Thai BBQ menu, featuring innovative sharing dishes, all cooked over coal on a bespoke grill. With fire at the heart of so many South East Asian flavours, Ali Borer of London’s renowned Thai BBQ restaurant, The Smoking Goat, and Mamasan head chef Finn Steel Perkins have crafted the menu together in an unique collaboration that pushes boundaries with flavour.

High End Kit and New Festival Grade Sound System at Mamasan - Scotland's first listening bar in the Merchant CityHigh End Kit and New Festival Grade Sound System at Mamasan - Scotland's first listening bar in the Merchant City
High End Kit and New Festival Grade Sound System at Mamasan - Scotland's first listening bar in the Merchant City
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Speaking about programming, Kevin McCrorie of Open Ear Music and DJ Matthew K said: “It’s a great honour to curate the lineup for Scotland's first audiophile bar. In a world where any song is available to anyone at the click of a button, it's important to have a place where music can be heard as it was intended.

People will get the opportunity to hear music, with clear, pristine sound on an amazing system, yet will still be able to hold a conversation without the volume being overpowering. For a music loving city such as Glasgow, this is a much welcome addition.  Look out for some special names over the next few months.”

Mamasan Bar, BBQ & Records is open seven days a week from noon until 1am, with curated DJs spinning vinyl from Friday + Saturday from 9pm, and Sunday from 2pm. The spring music programme is below, to book your table please visit mamamasan.co.uk.

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