Gin71 founder is looking to pass the torch

Paul Reynolds (right) with Stack & Still business partner Graham Swankie

PAUL Reynolds, the founder of gin and cocktail bar Gin71, insists that his plans to sell the business do not represent the end of an era.

Reynolds has owned and operated Gin71 and its sister business Cup Tea Lounge for almost a decade. During the day the business – which has outlets in Glasgow city centre and Merchant City – operates as Cup Tea Lounge, a café-style venue offering brunch and afternoon tea. In the evenings the units become Gin71. Reynolds expanded the brand in 2018 when he opened The Gin Spa in the Merchant City, combining spa treatments with afternoon tea or gin tastings.

This week the business was put up for sale, with offers over £475,000 sought for the leasehold interests.

But Reynolds insisted to SLTN that, despite early interest in the business, he is in no hurry to sell.

“It’s got to be the right offer, which supports the team that are there,” he said.

“I’ve been very transparent with my team. My general managers have known about this since the beginning of the year. We’ve been talking about it internally for six months.

“For me, legacy is quite important. I’ve always focused on taking care of my people and that is going to continue. It’s got to be the right operator. It’s not just about the financial deal on it. There’s more to it.”

Reynolds, who has put the business on the market so he can focus on his other venture, pancake restaurant group Stack & Still, hopes that whoever takes on the Gin71 business will continue to expand the concept.

“Weirdly, I’m not sad about it because I’m really proud of what’s been created over the years and they’re strong brands – Cup, Gin71 and the Spa are all strong brands in their own right,” said Reynolds.

“It’s finding somebody who, in essence, I can pass the flame to, to carry it on. Hopefully someone that’s younger and more energetic than me, who can actually take that and grow it.”

Stack & Still, meanwhile, is in the process of expanding, with the four-strong group set to grow to six units before the end of the summer.

Gin71, Cup Tea Lounge and The Gin Spa are being jointly marketed by Smith & Clough and the Scottish Business Agency.