Karen Peattie takes a peek inside two new Glasgow venues – The Smokin’ Fox in Waterloo Street and Mezze bar and restaurant at the top of the Rotunda building
New den in town as Glasgow venue rebrands as The Smokin’ Fox
A POPULAR pub in Glasgow’s Waterloo Street has a new name and look following a major refurbishment by owner Signature Pubs.
The Smokin’ Fox, formerly The Hope, joined the Signature stable last year in a deal that saw the Edinburgh-based group make its first significant move into the west of Scotland with the acquisition of five units owned by Tennent’s through its Thistle Pub Company subsidiary.
Mhari Raw, business development manager at Signature Pubs, said: “We wanted to put our Signature stamp on it so we thought we would provide an exciting facelift to a city-centre venue that has the ability to become a favourite hub for locals, tourists and commuters.
“The refurbishment has given us the opportunity to change some of the bits we felt needed changing, and create more laid-back seating and ambiance to give us a pub that attracts the proverbial 18-80 crown which is very exciting for all involved. We’re sure our customers will love The Smokin’ Fox and hope that they find it a relaxed and comfortable space to spend their time.”
The new menu, explains Raw, reflects the venue’s vibe and uses quality local and seasonal produce to create comforting, classic dishes – always with a Scottish twist in mind. Expect to see starters such as Ham Hough and Mull Cheddar Croquettes, Shetland Mussels and North Sea Crab and Prawn Cakes, and mains including Fraserburgh Fish Supper, Shepherd’s Pie with Scottish lamb, Chargrilled Smoked Bacon Chop and the Smokin’ Fox Burger featuring Borders beef.
“With regards to the drink offer, we haven’t changed all that much – we have kept our customers’ favourites while trying to promote more local suppliers,” said Raw. “Our cocktail menu has also been freshened up to become a little more foxy.”
Signature Pubs Group was founded by Nic Wood in 2003. Other Signature venues include The Rutland Hotel in Edinburgh and The West Port Bar & Kitchen in St Andrews.
Taste of the Mediterranean at Mezze
FOOD and drink that reminds diners of sun-drenched Mediterranean holidays is always going to hit the spot and that’s exactly what the owners of the new Mezze restaurant and bar on the top floor of the Rotunda complex in Glasgow are aiming for.
The stylish venue by the Clyde officially opened in February. Located on the top floor of the Rotunda, it’s the brainchild of restaurateurs Kevin Campbell and Toni Carbajosa, who also own Greek-Cypriot restaurant Halloumi as well as Rioja tapas and cocktail bar in Finnieston.
At the helm of the kitchen are head chefs Alex Lioly and Ridi Mukja whose modern dishes showcase the diverse Mediterranean culture and landscape, and tap into Greek, Cypriot, Ionian islands and Turkish influences to reinvent classic fare. The dishes – a combination of small and big plates – are designed to be shared and complement the casual atmosphere and vibe of the space.
Sharing specialities include Whole Chargrilled Sea Bream, Kleftiko Lamb shoulder, slow-cooked Chicken Tava and Seafood Saganaki stews that are guaranteed to bring friends and family together.
Designed by CM Design Consultants, the 60-seater restaurant boasts postcard blue walls, comfortable, colourful fabric and leather booths, and whitewashed tables and chairs that will transport you to the port of Thessaloniki while you dine. For drinkers, a relaxing bar area is set under a spectacular Santorini-inspired blue dome feature ceiling that provides a perfect oasis for cocktails or a quiet glass of wine before or after dinner.
“Modern Greek and Mediterranean cuisine is making waves at the moment and we wanted to create a dining space that pays homage to our chefs’ heritage,” said Campbell. “Ridi and Alex have created dishes that reinvent what they ate growing up with a twist, and the result is modern and fresh.
“Sharing is a culinary tradition and we want our guests to come and experience the magic of Mezze and feel as if they’ve stepped into the warmth of the Mediterranean Aegean sea.”
The Rotunda may not look out over the Aegean but it does offer spectacular views across the River Clyde. Just minutes from The SSE Hydro, Armadillo and SEC, Mezze is an exciting addition to Glasgow’s thriving dining scene.