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September 27, 2021

Readers with long memories, or an internet connection, may recall the film Cocktail in which a perma-grinning Tom Cruise dazzled customers with both his teeth and his flair bar tending skills.

In order to fling those bottles and Boston shakers around with quite so much panache, he was trained by bar staff from TGI Fridays.

If any of those two sentences makes you feel pangs of nostalgia then you may want to make tracks for the recently opened 63rd+1st on Bothwell Street.

Located in the former Gusto premises, 63rd+1st aims to be 'a celebration of a unique heritage and bar expertise, with a modern twist, aimed at young professionals and those with a nostalgic affection for the Fridays brand'.

Launched last week, the new 63rd+1st follows in the footsteps of the brand's very first unit which opened in Cobham, Surrey in May 2021. Further expansion is planned with the next branch slated to open in Harrogate, North Yorkshire. The main pic shows the Cobham branch interior.

Sociable atmosphere

The original TGI Fridays was created in 1965 New York by a salesman and restaurateur called Alan Stillman. He wanted to attract young professionals. Or, as he put it, he wanted to meet girls.

Mr Stillman obviously knew his market because, within a short space of time, his new venture was so popular with hordes of singles that it had to be roped off by police. Tinder, Hinge and other dating apps may have overtaken Stillman's original concept but he went on to have an incredibly successful career over decades in the restaurant industry.

63rd+1st is aiming for some of that sociable atmosphere. As well as its large 135 seat dining room, there is a lounge, bar area and outdoor dining space with another 24 seats.

From morning coffee to brunch, evening cocktails and three course dinners, 63rd+1st hopes to be all things to everyone. Manhattan street food is the given inspiration of the menus. If the Glasgow branch emulates the Cobham restaurant then patrons will be ordering up salad bowls, steaks, burgers and seafood dishes such as fish tacos, grilled sea bass, crayfish rolls and half lobsters served with French fries.

Born in Scotland

Interestingly, Robert B. Cook, the big boss at 63rd+1st, was born in Scotland and, in previous roles, has headed up both Malmaison and One Devonshire Gardens.

He said: '63rd+1st represents the coming together of people, culture, tastes and styles. Inspired by over 50 years of unique heritage it is a cocktail bar and restaurant where great things will happen.

'To say we are excited to bring the second ever 63rd+1st venue to Glasgow would be an understatement. We have always felt the love and loyalty from our Scottish guests and we can’t wait for them to join us and be spoilt by the 63rd+1st experience.' 

Sian O’Brien, General Manager of 63rd+1st Glasgow, added: 'Having successfully launched the brand in Cobham alongside renowned restaurateur Dawid Samulczyk, formerly of Soho House and Gordon Ramsay stable, I jumped at the opportunity  to return home to Scotland to lead the 63rd+1st Glasgow team.'