The family behind Glasgow’s Urban Bar and Brasserie have invested in a complete refurbishment and rebrand of the much loved eatery - bringing a brand new restaurant and bar to Glasgow’s city centre.

Ralph & Finns on St Vincent Place will open on Friday 6 November, offering a contemporary 180 seater bar and restaurant, serving classic dishes and cocktails with a twist.

The venue also has a new whisky room and large private dining area for up to 32 people, named ‘The Boardroom’ in a nod to the building’s history as the former Scottish HQ of the Bank of England.

The eatery, which has been owned by the Tomkins family for over 15 years, will provide all-day dining in the venue’s ‘Garden Room’ while a 22-seater marble bar will sit at the heart of the restaurant.

The interiors have been designed by award-winning Mark Brunjes of CM Design, known in Glasgow for his work in Paesano, Hutchesons and BrewDog Bars.

Ralph & Finns will also offer late night drinks thanks to its 1am license, and the specially dedicated whisky room, which will showcase over 50 premium brands, including Highland Park 50, Bowmore, Laphroaig and Macallan.

However during current restraints, the restaurant will operate reduced hours and will not be serving alcohol, offering instead a range of  mocktails, soft drinks, non-alcoholic wines and Cava.

Head chef, John-Paul Lappin has worked with Urban Brasserie owner Alan Tomkins for over 20 years.

Starting as a teenager, he climbed the ranks of the kitchen from commis chef to this role curating the menu for the business’s new flagship venue.

Speaking of the new restaurant, John-Paul said: “I’ve worked with Alan for over 15 years now, first at Urban and then had the pleasure of working with Emma as we established Ollie’s as a separate and equally successful venture.

“I’m excited to be heading up the kitchen at Ralph & Finns with my original team from Urban Bar & Brasserie, some of whom I’ve worked with for five years. We’ll be using bold favours and great Scottish produce for classic dishes we hope everyone will enjoy.”

What’s on the menu?

Dishes to look out for include a beef carpaccio starter with charred artichokes, pickled walnuts and peppered goats cheese, and some retro classics with a contemporary twist, including the signature chicken Kiev.

The restaurant will also serve supreme cuts of Scotch beef sourced from local farms alongside a range of premium wines.

Fans of Urban Brasserie will not be disappointed to rediscover the restaurant’s famous fish soup, made with crab, ginger and coriander and served with prawn dumplings on the menu.

Following in her father’s footsteps, Emma Tomkins takes the reins at Ralph & Finns after over a decade in the industry, most recently running southside hotspot Ollie’s Bistro, much-loved Vroni’s wine bar and launching an online wine retail business.

She’ll be joined at the helm by Glasgow restaurant figurehead, Andy MacSween, who takes on the role of operations manager after spending the past seven years managing the teams at two of Glasgow’s most successful restaurants, Ox and Finch and Ka Pao.

Emma said: “We’re thrilled to announce the opening of Ralph & Finns this November. When customers step inside the restaurant, they will find the space completely transformed.

“Our well ventilated and generously spacious venue will allow us to seat over 100 people comfortably whilst adhering to social distancing measures.

“We’re excited to welcome back Andy to the business, who worked with us over ten years ago and brings a wealth of knowledge and experience from his time with Ox and Finch and Ka Pao.

“We’re also sure regular customers to Urban Brasserie will be delighted to see our team return to lead our restaurant into an exciting new era at St Vincent Place. So many of our staff have worked with our family for many years and we cannot wait to welcome all customers into Ralph & Finns.”

The restaurant will be open seven days a week, between 11.30am and 6pm while the current restrictions apply.

To book a table from Friday November 6, visit the restaurant’s website.

About The Author

Rosalind Erskine

Known for cake making, experimental jam recipes, Champagne and gin drinking (and the inability to cook Gnocchi), Rosalind writes for The Scotsman on all things food and drink related.

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