How I saved the Ro­tunda

The Herald - - OPINION -

I WAS de­lighted to see your ar­ti­cle and Leader Com­ment re­gard­ing the South Ro­tunda (“City’s ro­tunda mon­u­ment is brought back from the brink” and “Firm pro­vides light at end of the tun­nel for Ro­tunda”, The Her­ald, Jan­uary 5) and I am pleased thatithas­nowause­ful­life.

Just over 30 years ago, af­ter cam­paign­ing to save them from be­ing de­mol­ished, I man­aged to buy both the North and South Ro­tun­das for £1 and set about restor­ing them.

The North, be­cause of its prox­im­ity to the SECC, be­came a res­tau­rant com­plex where I formed a com­pany with the well-known restau­rater Mario Ro­mano and his busi­ness part­ner Re­nato Pal­a­dini. Mario had rev­o­lu­tionised eater­ies in Glasgow with the Ve­su­vio, Sorento and L ‘Ariosto, to name but a few, in the late 1960s/early 70s. We ran it for sev­eral years then man­aged to ob­tain a casino li­cence, there­after sold to Gala.

I had also pro­duced and had ob­tained con­sent for the South to make into two large bars – there was noth­ing at that time be­tween the King Ge­orge V Bridge and Ibrox – with a large open space on the ground floor with a re­volv­ing up­per floor themed on Cly­de­side and the Blitz with Spit­fires and bar­rage bal­loons and so on. How­ever just then the city had been given the City of Cul­ture award and I handed it back to be­come part of the Gar­den Fes­ti­val.

With the North, I also wanted to con­vert the Fin­nieston Crane ad­ja­cent into a rather spe­cial eaterie and ne­go­ti­a­tions went a long way but in the end proved to be too dif­fi­cult. Niall Camp­bell, Rowal­lan Cas­tle, Kil­maurs, Ayr­shire.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.