Star Pubs & Bars and Hope Street Lease Ltd (a partnership between Glasgow hospitality operators Neil Douglas and Billy Mcaneney) have started work on a £430,000 refurbishment of Trader Joes on Hope Street in Glasgow.
The rundown pub will become a contemporary Scottish bar and restaurant called Ardnamurchan, specialising in Scottish food and drink. The opening will create 20 new jobs and is expected to take place at the start of May.
Situated on the outskirts of the city centre, the site is in a prime position opposite the Theatre Royal, near Caledonian University and the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland and a short walk from Sauchiehall Street.
With pubs and bars in the West End, Finnieston and city centre having been the focus of development in recent years, the creation of Ardnamurchan is part of a wider move by operators to invest in less central areas of Glasgow.
Ardnamurchan will celebrate Scottish food and drink. Whilst produce will come from all over Scotland, there will be close links with suppliers in Ardnamurchan with venison coming from the Ardnamurchan Estate and langoustine from Mull.
The bar will specialise in Scottish whiskys and gins as well as cocktails. Over 50 Scottish whiskies will be stocked and it will be the first in Glasgow to sell whisky from The Ardnamurchan Distillery. Four Caledonian beers will be on tap.
Menu prices will be affordable and there will be fixed price set menus which are expected to appeal to theatre goers. Permission has been granted to extend the site’s opening hours to 9am and a full Scottish breakfast will be served.
In addition, up and coming Scottish musical talent from the Conservatoire will be showcased twice a week.
Outside the building will be redecorated and renovated to make it an attractive feature of Hope Street. Inside the pub is being completely redesigned with a new kitchen and an open plan bar and restaurant. The look will be natural but contemporary using exposed stonework, colours that evoke the sea and sky of Scotland and Harris Tweed fabrics.
Douglas, who also runs Café Antipasti on Sauchiehall Street with his wife Julie, said: “Scotland has some of the best farming and fishing in the world yet very few restaurants in the city major on Scottish cuisine. We believe it’s time it had more prominence. Julie’s family goes back 10 generations in Ardnamurchan and we’ll be using those links to bring some outstanding produce to Glasgow. The North end of Hope Street used to be one of Glasgow’s main entertainment areas but has been overlooked in recent years, we want to bring back some of its sparkle.
Douglas added that this is the first leased pub that he and Mcaneney have been involved with, and as independent operators it was key to the venue reflects their vision.
“Star has fully supported our plans and we’ve been delighted by the flexibility and autonomy that we have been given to undertake the work including using our own designers and builders,” he said.
Lawson Mountstevens, managing director of Star Pubs & Bars, said: “We believe in working flexibly with our licensees. We’re pleased that two such talented and well-established Glasgow operators are joining forces with us to bring new life to such a great building. Their plans are superb and Adrnamurchan will be a very distinctive addition to Glasgow’s thriving pub and bar scene.”