Scottish beer company Innis & Gunn is set to open a taproom where people can brew their own beer in the site of a popular restaurant closed by the pandemic.
The firm gained planning permission in April to convert the West Nile Street venue into a taproom, which is set to create around 50 jobs. It has now been granted changes to the alcohol licence of the former Bill’s restaurant site.
It will be Edinburgh-based Innis & Gunn’s second Glasgow venue, joining the premises on Ashton Lane.
Bill’s didn’t reopen after Covid-19 forced bosses to close the restaurant’s doors and now the beer firm has been allowed to make variations to the venue’s premises licence, which allows the sale of alcohol.
Addressing the city’s licensing board, Audrey Junner, representing Innis & Gunn, said: “You may be familiar with this site, it operated as Bill’s restaurant but sadly as a result of the pandemic, it was forced to close, and unfortunately it hasn’t reopened.
“I say unfortunately but obviously that’s a positive for our clients because it has given them an opportunity to take this site and open a second Innis and Gunn premises within the city.”
She described the concept as “very similar” to the Ashton Lane premises, adding the venue will be a “really positive addition to the city centre”.
Changes to the licence include reducing the licensed hours from 1am to midnight as it will be a “pub offer” rather than a restaurant. Innis & Gunn will also be able to hold live performances.
Bill’s restaurant has been closed since the start of the Covid pandemic in March 2020 and surrendered the lease for the premises, Innis & Gunn’s planning application revealed.
It also said the beer company intended to sub-divide the basement of the property to provide a separate restaurant, which would be sub-leased to a “quality restaurant operator”.
When the taproom plans were revealed, the firm said there would be over 20 craft beer taps as well as guest beers from a range of breweries. It will also host Brew Schools to give visitors a chance to brew their own beer.
Innis & Gunn, founded in 2003, specialises in beers matured in oak casks previously used for maturing spirits.