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October 1, 2019

Unfortunately, it's behind a paywall but today's Times has a fun piece about two restaurants which both claim to be the oldest in the world.

Founded in 1725, Madrid's Casa Botín is said to be the oldest in the world according to the Guinness Book of Records.

However, La Campana in Rome claims to have been open continuously since 1518. Caravaggio, Goethe and Keith Richards are all said to have visited.

And since Keith Richards is well over a thousand years old - and that's just in human years - La Campana may well be right.

It got us thinking what the oldest restaurant in Glasgow might be.

Of course, how you define oldest is up for grabs. Does a place have to be open continuously as a restaurant? Must it always have had the same name? What if it has moved location over the years?

Victorian heritage

The Cabin restaurant on Dumbarton Road claims to have been a restaurant way back in 1890. It currently seems to be closed - we think - but plans to re-open it were afoot earlier this year.

The Buttery has strong claims to be Glasgow's oldest. We interviewed Ryan James, boss of The Buttery, in 2017.

The event was the tenth anniversary of The Buttery joining the Two Fats group of restaurants but its history stretches back much further.

It started life as a pub in 1856 but some reckon it was running as a restaurant by 1870. It has had several ups and downs since then but now has a reputation as one of Glasgow's finest restaurants.

It's certainly massively popular with 5pm users.

Thirties elegance

When it comes to other restaurants that might fit into the Glasgow's oldest category, we're at a bit of a dead end.

Famously, the Rogano opened in 1935, at the same time as the Cunard liner the Queen Mary was being fitted out on the Clyde.

Some say that the restaurant's gorgeous interior may have found its way from the docks to the restaurant by nefarious means.

But other old restaurants? We're at a loss. Any ideas?

If we expand the question to pubs and bars - do old inns and hostelries count as restaurants? - then lots of other possibilities open up but that's a whole new blog.