Phil and Giovanna ‘bounce back’ to open The Marlborough

The Marlborough
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A Broomhill couple have opened a new restaurant just round the corner from where they live.

Giovanna and Phil McDonald say they “jumped at the chance” to move into 340 Crow Road, the premises formerly occupied by the Wee Lochan restaurant which closed permanently last summer.

The Marlborough opened its doors for sit down briefly before Christmas, and is now serving takeaway drinks and food under Tier 4 restrictions.

The couple have one other business The Taphouse bar in Finnieston, which has been closed under Covid rules.

Giovanna said the new business had given the couple a fresh opportunity.

“We only got offered the unit in September and we think it’s an amazing site.

“We jumped at the chance and we used our Bounce Back loan to, well, bounce back.

“Things are really tricky for bars and pubs at the moment. They are really not viable under the tier system at all.

“Even when we get to Tier 1 it means a 10.30pm closing and that makes it hard for bars.

“But this kind of style of breakfast and brunch trade at The Marlborough and the all-day thing works in Tier 3.

“We may not have started as we would have if things were normal, but it’s given us the opportunity to build a really strong, early day-time trade.”

The new restaurant opened on December 18.

Giovanna and Phil both have hospitality backgrounds and met when they worked together in town.

They have been self-employed since 2005 and have lived in Broomhill since 2004.

Giovanna said: “We think the site has got the potential to be one of those rare things: appealing to a cross-section of people at different times of the day.

“The community have invested in it already and we have had really great feedback.

“We may not have started as we would have if things were normal, but it’s given us the opportunity to build a really strong, early day-time trade”

Giovanna McDonald

“We had quite a low-key opening because we were aware of the time of year it was.

“We opened on December 18, a brand new unit with brand new staff.

“We had no website, no social, nothing.

“But we were absolutely rammed from day one, which has been great.

“We are incredibly excited but also disappointed that we had to shut so soon.”

When the world eventually gets back on its feet, The Marlborough will continue to serve all-day brunch from 9 and classic dishes from noon, and a la carte in the evening.

‘We are incredibly excited but also disappointed that we had to shut so soon’

The new restaurant has opened with 10 front of house staff and three in the kitchen.

But that will increase when the operating hours start to extend.

Some faces will be familiar to patrons who visited the previous occupants.

‘Absolutely brilliant’

Giovanna said: “Tammy our assistant manager worked at the Wee Lochan for 10 years.

“She has been absolutely brilliant because so many people know her.

“We can’t wait until we open again for sit down meals.

“We are in this for the long-term and are excited about the future.”

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