A-listed Hutchesons’ Hall in the Merchant City is currently undergoing a £1.3million transformation by independent restaurateur James Rusk – owner of successful steakhouse The Butchershop Bar & Grill, as he embarks on bringing a wonderful new dining environment to Glasgow’s Style Mile.
Behind Hutchesons clean white façade lies a long and colourful history. Built in the early 1800s, it was designed by one of the great Glasgow architects, David Hamilton and was originally meant to be a hospital for elderly men and a school for poor boys. Owned by The National Trust for Scotland, the architectural landmark has been used as a public library, bank, school and shops, and has been lying empty for the last five years after extensive water damaged caused by storms in 2008.
Set over three floors and 4’000sq feet, the A-listed white impressive structure features a clock tower in an unusual octagonal design and huge stain glass windows amongst its other charms, and is set to bring at least fifty new jobs to the city centre.
Restaurateur and vice chairman of the Glasgow Restaurant Association James Rusk, hopes that his vision for Hutchesons will give the public the opportunity to experience the building’s history and grandeur in a relaxed, social setting. He says:
“The building is steeped in nostalgia, a feeling of time standing still and I had an overwhelming urge to clean down the cobwebs, pull off the dust sheets and invite Glasgow round for dinner to feel the energy of this incredible space.
“We’ve been working with the National Trust for Scotland in the background for the last two years trying to bring a new purpose to this unique, standalone building that is soaked in layers of history and culture.
“When I stepped foot inside the grand hall, I instantly knew that I wanted to sympathetically transform this magnificent landmark into a distinctive dining experience for all to enjoy.”
Speaking of what Hutchesons will offer when it’s set to open later this spring:
“Set in classic splendour in a grand European setting, our café bar and restaurant will be relaxed and informal where our customers can relish in the lavish interiors and the Hutchesons’ culture and character. The décor will pay homage to the building’s heritage, and through great use of mirrors, warm colours and by restoring the buildings’ allures our aim is to create a comfortable convivial environment that is split over three floors creating a café bar, restaurant and private dining space.”
Councillor Gordon Matheson, Leader of Glasgow City Council and Chair of Glasgow City Marketing Bureau, said: "Glasgow enjoys an enviable reputation as a European centre of dining excellence, which is home to a cosmopolitan café culture by day and a world-class restaurant offering by night. I am delighted that the stunning Hutchesons’ Hall, which has served as a prestigious address to a multitude of organisations over the decades, is undergoing this transformation and will open its magnificent doors once again to visitors and Glaswegians alike. Hutchesons will be a welcome addition to the city’s impressive gastronomic scene, providing a unique dining experience and creating jobs for the city."