Local writer discovers lost part of Glasgow hospitality history

Norry Wilson of Lost Glasgow has shared a piece of hospitality history.

Freelance journalist and copywriter, Norry Wilson, has been running the hugely successful Lost Glasgow Facebook, Twitter and website since 2014, and he’s recently shared a piece of hospitality history that’s sparked memories for some.

The site and socials uses vintage photography to share the tales of the city, and its people. Norry, a former newspaper journalist, told followers last week that he’d obtained a 1963 menu from Rogano, pictures of which he’s now posted online.

Replies to the historic menu include: “What a find that is. Has there been such a menu in Glasgow since?”

“Things I never imagined for a minute were available in 1963 in there” and “What great find, thanks for this. So much to read. Anchovies in “Chicken Mayonnaise”, wow. Love the cook times for dishes.”

Rogano had been operating as a seafood restaurant just off Royal Exchange Square in Glasgow city centre since 1935, having started life as a Spanish bar and wine cellar.

It is known for its Art Deco interiors, which were installed by then owner Donald Grant, who, according to Norry’s Lost Glasgow, was inspired by the Cunard liner the Queen Mary, which had just been built on the Clyde by John Brown & Co of Clydebank.

Rogano had been serving the best of Scottish seafood to locals and visitors alike for over 75 years, making it a must visit for those looking to sample a little bit of Glasgow’s rich history.

Rogano closed during lockdown, and has not reopened since. The windows have been boarded up - a sad sight for many people who have enjoyed celebratory meals in the restaurant. Rumours cirulcated that the business had been sold.

There was an update in late 2020, posted on the Rogano Facebook page, confirming that they hope to reopen in 2021. It read: "Dear customers, we are currently undergoing a period of restructuring as a result of the devastating impact the Covid-19 pandemic has had on the hospitality industry. We can confirm Rogano is not for sale, and we very much hope to open again some time in 2021.

"We'd like to take this opportunity to say thank you to everyone who reached out to us today with their fond memories of Rogano and to our wonderful customers who we hope to see again in the near future. Rogano."

Despite this the iconic restraurant remains closed, and suffered flood damage in 2021.