Putting down roots in Maryhill

The Botany restaurant chef John Paul Lappin with Alan Tomkins (right) and Calum Lawson.

A VETERAN Glasgow restaurateur intent on leading a Finnieston-like “sea-change” in Maryhill is poised to launch his latest venture, The Botany, on Maryhill Road.

Alan Tomkins, whose career spans more than three decades in the trade and who counts the likes of Urban Bar & Brasserie, Vroni’s Wine Bar and Blue Dog in his portfolio, took on The Strathmore with business partner Calum Lawson in 2015 and, following a £200,000 investment in the pub, is set to reopen it next week (September 12) as The Botany.

Set in a “beautiful glasshouse setting” near to the Forth and Clyde Canal, the Maryhill Road venue will major in comfort food “at a high level” using locally-sourced ingredients, as well as a comprehensive range of cocktails, wine, gin and whisky as it looks to cater to customers “on the hunt for the very best food and drink”.

Tomkins said the launch of The Botany comes at an “exciting time” of change for the city, which he reckons is now “a haven for foodies”. And he believes Maryhill is ripe for regeneration similar to that in Finnieston.

“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,” he said.

“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 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.”