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The grid of streets that lies immediately east of the City Chambers is known as the Merchant City, an area of eighteenth-century warehouses and homes that was sandblasted and swabbed clean with greater enthusiasm and municipal money than any other part of Glasgow in an attempt to bring residents back into the city centre. The expected flood of yuppies was more of a trickle, but the expensive designer shops, cool bars and bijou caf├ęs continue to flock here, giving the area a pervasive air of sophistication. A Merchant City Trail leaflet, which guides you around a dozen of the most interesting buildings in the area, is available at the tourist office.

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