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November 5, 2019

As the rise of internet shopping plays havoc on the High Street, bricks and mortar shops are having to change what they have to offer.

The latest fashions in four different colours is no longer enough to keep customers coming back.

Instead there is a rush to make shopping experiential - marketing speak for making shopping fun again.

One of the ways to try and do this is to add eating and drinking options to both shopping centres and individual stores.

It is by no means a new idea.

The idea is fundamental to the way that Princes Square has always worked and, more recently, the Buchanan Galleries has been shouting about its Street Food Hub.

Over at The Fort, there are currently twenty food and drink concessions listed on their website.

Back in Glasgow city centre, House of Fraser has just unveiled Black Ruby's Bistro and Bar, a replacement for the previous Gin71 unit.

Open from 9.30am to 7pm, the new venture promises breakfast, lunch, small plates, Scottish tapas, afternoon tea and a Sunday roast. Which pretty much covers all the food options for their operating hours.

On the drinks front, there are craft beers, wines spirits, Prosecco and Champagne.

Seared scallops

The food certainly looks in keeping with Frasers. Typical examples might be the trio of seared scallops with a broad bean purée, beetroot gel, viola, lemon and a black pudding bonbon.

Another option might be the smoked haddock risotto cooked in Thistly Cross Cider with black truffle shavings and crispy leek. Main pic is from BlackRuby's Facebook.

As you might expect, there is a strong commitment to Scottish sourcing throughout.

BlackRuby's Highland Martini is made with Arbikie vodka from outside Arbroath along with  Chambord, pineapple juice, a raspberry coulis and rasps.

From the small plate menu, the Bard's Choice is a haggis, neeps and tatties stack with a Loch Lomond whisky sauce.

If you are in the market for a full Scottish breakfast, then at BlackRuby's it includes venison sausages, potato scone, bacon, haggis and black pudding, black eyed beans in the house tomato sauce, mushrooms, roasted cherry tomatoes with fried duck egg and toast plus coffee.

And if anyone needs liquid sustenance while on an extended shopping expedition, there are beers from, among others, Stewart Brewing, St Andrews Brewing Co, Caird Hall and the Overtone Brewing Co.

Anyone for oysters?

Anyone for oysters? Pic: Facebook.