Like the majority of UK cities, Glasgow is in the midst of a restaurant boom. From new independent operators to national restaurant chains, the city is fast becoming the casual dining capital of Scotland.
While Glasgow may not be able to boast any Michelin star restaurants, like its east coast neighbour, Edinburgh, it has had an influx of operators offering global cuisines from Mexican to oriental and most notably – burgers.
These operators have completely transformed the likes of West Nile Street and St Vincent Street from secondary retail/office side streets to prime restaurant pitches as occupiers seek to be close to the footfall and shops on the prime retail pitch of Buchanan Street. The likes of Las Iguanas, Bills, Cote, GBK, Handmade Burger, Five Guys and Giraffe have all opened in the last 18 months along these streets.
Demand is now spilling onto the surrounding streets of West George Street, St Vincent Place and Ingram Street with Byron, Living Ventures t/a The Trading House and Cau all opening, or soon to open. With opportunities drying up in these locations, I believe that the next ‘hot spots’ that will be targeted by the chains will be the traditional retail streets of Sauchiehall St and Argyle St.
Restaurant rents over the last 18 months have more than doubled, in some instances to over £40 per sq ft and operators now don’t appear to be put off paying retail rents, therefore making them an attractive option for landlords.
As demand from this sector shows no sign of letting up and with operators prepared to pay prime high street retail rents and more, it appears no retail street is safe from the clutches of the restaurant juggernaut….
Andrew Britton is a retail agent at Culverwell Property Consultants in Glasgow.
For more information on the Scottish property market see this week’s Focus section in the Estates Gazette (28/11/15)