Cumbernauld businessman buys his favourite childhood eaterie

18/07/11. John Devlin. GLASGOW. The Trees Restaurant 27 Union Street. Cumbernauld man buys this after being customer 40 years ago. Robert MacKenzie and wife. cg
18/07/11. John Devlin. GLASGOW. The Trees Restaurant 27 Union Street. Cumbernauld man buys this after being customer 40 years ago. Robert MacKenzie and wife. cg

A CUMBERNAULD businessman treasured the memories of a Glasgow restaurant so much that he has snapped up the eaterie - four decades on from his first visit.

Robert MacKenzie, from Whitelees, already owns MacKenzie Bus & Coach Services but has proudly added traditional Scottish restaurant The Trees to his portfolio.

Wife Kirstine who has spent much of her working life in the hospitality industry is also involved in the business which is located in bustling Union Street near Central Station.

Robert said: “My first memory of The Trees is sitting on a high chair beside my grandfather in the 1970s.

“I remember the proprietor Angelo, who would sit at the cash desk and sometimes we bought homemade tablet. I would never have thought all those years ago I would run it.

“My wife and I intend to make gradual improvements as we want another generation to remember either lunch, high tea or afternoon tea at The Trees but it won’t become an internet cafe or coffee shop,’’ added Robert, who cherishes the heritage of the 80-year-old premises.

He has even found old menus on site from the 1940s - where a three course lunch cost just 75 pence.

His new venture is already drawing repeat custom, not just from regulars, but ex-pats who fly in from the likes of Canada and America to be afforded an enjoyable saunter down memory lane - plus some mince and tatties!

Robert recognises them for the simple reason that he was a regular himself - and his next move is to make sure that The Trees gets a license so that customers can enjoy a wee tipple if they so wish.

He said: “We don’t want to turn the place into an alehouse - there’s a pub across the road - but we want to do pre-theatre deals for example, and you really need a license for that. It’s all part of the plan to take the business forward.”.

Kirstine added: “It’s an exciting time for us. This is a dream come true.’’

The agent from property firm Bruce & Co who dealt with the sale reckons that the MacKenzies will enjoy success on a plate - despite the credit crunch.

Lewis Murphy said: “This charming city centre restaurant sold in excess of the asking price at the closing date. Because the premises is unlicensed there is huge potential to expand.”

Mr Murphy added: “The sale of The Trees also demonstrates that demand remains strong for well located restaurants.”