Could Maryhill be the next Finnieston? Top restaurateur Alan Tomkins believes the launch of his latest venture, The Botany, will spark a flood of openings in North Glasgow.
Formerly The Strathmore, the new Maryhill Road venture is scheduled to open officially on Wednesday 12 September.
The launch comes after a £200,000 redesign of the restaurant, glasshouse conservatory, outdoor terrace, menu and interiors.
Will it be enough to turn Maryhill into the new Finnieston? Well, if anyone can provide a well thought through answer, it is Alan Tomkins.
Active on Glasgow’s dining scene since 1982, Mr Tomkins is the man behind many of the city’s best-loved institutions. Urban Bar & Brasserie, Vroni’s Wine Bar, Ollie’s and The Western Club Restaurant are all his.
In the past, the restaurateur has played a large part in places such as Papingo Restaurant, Gamba Seafood Restaurant and the Southside’s Urban Grill.
The Botany: adding to an up and coming area
Mr Tomkins will launch The Botany alongside business partner Calum Lawson.
A former board director of the Glasgow City Marketing Bureau, the restaurateur believes this move could encourage more bars and restaurants to think outside the box.
This is a very exciting time for Glasgow. Having worked in hospitality for as long as I can remember, I’ve seen the city change and develop its attitudes towards food and drink. Options used to be very limited. Now, Glasgow’s a haven for foodies.— Alan Tomkins
He said: ‘This is a very exciting time for Glasgow. Having worked in hospitality for as long as I can remember, I’ve seen the city change and develop its attitudes towards food and drink. Options used to be very limited. Now, Glasgow’s a haven for foodies.
‘The transformation of Finnieston came because of a few anchor venues offering spectacular food and drink. Calum and I both believe we can lead a similar sea-change in Maryhill and North Kelvinside.
‘Our aim is to not only to maintain a local institution, but to attract customers from the West End, Bearsden and Milngavie. The delicious food, seasonal cocktails and fantastic atmosphere will add a lot to what’s already an up and coming area.’
John Paul Lappin is the chef in charge at The Botany. His menu aims to ‘deliver comfort food at a high level using locally-sourced ingredients’.
Highlights include a venison loin smoked in-house and a Sri-Lankan-style monkfish curry. There will also be brunch specials served on Sundays; cocktails; an extensive wine list; quality gins and whisky.