Restaurants, Bars and Cafes

‘Byres Road can be tough for business but I know Martha’s food will do well here’

By Ellen Thomson at

An independent eatery has arrived on Byres Road just in time for Christmas – in pop-up form.

Martha’s has been trading in the centre of Glasgow for the past seven years, making a success of its healthy fast-food ethos.

Now it’s making its long-sought-for appearance in the West End after securing premises at 223 Byres Road.

Martha's pop-up Byres Road

Welcome: Martha’s is an independent eatery that has been in St Vincent Street for the past seven years. Photo credit: Martin Shields

The plan is to trade through Christmas as a pop-up before the serious investment takes place in the New Year.

Initially, the menu will be based on four dishes – chipotle chicken and red dragon pork will be staple offerings, and two will change each week.

Martha’s flatbread wraps will also be available on request.

Meals are available for take-out or sit in.

By February, the basement kitchen will be kitted out, the upstairs serving area revamped and the shop frontage transformed.

Founder Gavin Clark says its exciting times for his business.

He said: “Time ran out to get the full work completed in time for Christmas, but we are delighted to be opening as a pop-up.

“We are open for business.”

Martha's festive pop-up

Goodness: All Martha’s foods and drinks are freshly prepared on the premises. Photo credit: Martin Shields

Gavin and his team are already providing match-winning cuisine for the Glasgow Warriors Rugby team.

The partnership involves Martha’s providing nutritional meals and drinks to the team during training sessions and match days.

But the new Byres Road outlet is the company’s big move for the festive period and beyond.

Gavin: “Because of it’s popularity and demand for locations here, the prices (overheads) are steep.

“Relatively speaking the cost of the unit on Byres Road for us is more expensive than the relative rate in the city centre.

“It’s not cheap so you’ve got to get it right.

“There are lots of competitors – big brands and independents.

Martha's festive pop-up

Future: Gavin says it is exciting times for Martha’s. Photo credit: Martin Shields

“So the key thing for us is just to really understand what makes us different, stick to what we’re good at, and just keep pushing that.

“We’ve got our own product range, and people like our products for that reason – so stick to the ‘knitting’ as they say.

“And make sure that we continue to be differentiated from a lot of our competitors here.

“We are a fast food takeaway – so that is the core thing.

“We are set up to provide speed, healthy, nutritrious, delicious fast-food to takeaway – that’s our core product.”

Martha's festive pop-up

Plans: Gavin will transform the pop-up into a fully functioning food outlet in the New Year. Photo credit: Martin Shields


Watch: Gavin Clark founder of Martha’s, which has opened its second outlet in Byres Road

Gavin added: “I’m so excited we brought Martha’s to the west end and just in time for Christmas.

“People in the west end love their eclectic flavours and with an emphasis on healthy, hearty and feeling fuller for longer, we’re hoping the sample menu will go down well.

“Customers also have the chance to help choose the menu for next year.”