Popular Glasgow restaurant to reduce outdoor seating plans after locals complain

Bosses at a popular South Side restaurant have agreed to cut the number of seats outdoors as a “gesture of goodwill” to neighbours.

The restaurant has agreed to cut its outdoor seating.

Residents living near McMillan’s Steak and Chophouse called for plans to extend the outdoor area to be rejected amid fears over noise and inconsiderate parking.

The venue  — which has been able to serve more customers outside under a temporary licence during the pandemic — had asked the city’s Licensing Board for permission to permanently increase seating from 44 to 80.

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But, after a site visit from board members, the restaurant offered to drop that figure to 72 and reintroduce parking spaces.

Neighbours had complained the original proposal was “excessive and inappropriate” for a residential area.

They are also concerned the restaurant is becoming a “pub by stealth” due to plans to show televised sport and host live performances.

However, the Licensing Board has agreed to vary the licence, with reduced seats and a restriction on live performances until after 11am.

Two objectors present at the board meeting welcomed the move to reduce the capacity, but were disappointed with the lack of consultation from McMillan’s bosses.

Stephen McGowan, representing the restaurant, said he had met with his client who “felt that it would be helpful and sensible to offer a compromise and put forward a reduced area”.

The change reintroduces parking spaces, which Mr McGowan said “some of the residents were concerned about losing”. He added that, with the alterations, the net capacity increase would be 28 seats.

“My client is hoping this can be taken as a gesture of goodwill and compromise to go for a revised area.”

Mr McGowan also said the approved area was “smaller” than the one used under the temporary licence.

Susanne Henderson, who lives nearby, said: “There’s been no attempt to contact us. In principle, I welcome the attempt to reduce the capacity.

“I remain concerned about the request for the licence for live performance indoors as well, which I think will significantly increase noise from the premises.”

Restaurant boss Miles McMillan said: “We did sit down and go over all the points that they raised at the first hearing. We took them all on board in detail and we decided to come up with a reduced area.”

The licence variation also allows the restaurant to open earlier to serve breakfasts, show live sports and sell alcohol for consumption off the premises, primarily as part of food deliveries.

As well as neighbours, objections to the application had been submitted by Bailie Norman McLeod, Bailie Hanif Raja, Cllr Jon Molyneux, the Strathbungo Society and Shawlands and Strathbungo Community Council.

At an original hearing, one neighbour said the application “seeks to turn it into licensed premises with a focus and an emphasis on drink, sports and, even more worryingly, live music performance”.

But Mr McGowan said there wasn’t “some sort of creeping masquerade to try to turn this premises into what has been described as a sports bar, or some sort of noisy, rowdy public house”.

He added: “There will be very little difference between how they actually trade currently.”

He said the restaurant wanted to be able to show a “sporting occasion”, such as Wimbledon, the Euros or the Commonwealth Games. He added live performances had already been permitted, but were “very rare”.