A HOSPITALITY duo have chosen a site in a traditionally “dry” area of Scotland to launch their latest outlet.

Glasgow restaurateurs Phillip and Grace Reilly have revealed plans to open a bar and brasserie in Clarkston later this year. It will be the husband and wife team’s second venture, joining their existing Loks Bar & Kitchen, located off Kilmarnock Road in Newlands.

Clarkston, a suburb on the south side of Glasgow, had been Scotland’s last surviving “dry” area until 2006, when the first alcohol licence was granted for the area.

Mr and Mrs Reilly have purchased the freehold of a building which for many years traded as a Beanscene coffee shop. But since 2014 the unit has seen several different bars and restaurants come and go, having most recently traded as The Stables.

While the site has challenged previous operators, the options for eating out for Clarkston locals have broadened in recent years with the opening of restaurants such as Michelangelo’s and the Overlee bar. It also has a sprinkling of cafes, delicatessens and a craft beer store, although recently a burger restaurant, BRGR, closed, citing challenges caused by maintenance works to the car park which sits above.

Mr Reilly, who lives locally, believes there is a gap in the Clarkston market they can fill. While he accepts that “you can never know for sure” that any outlet will succeed, he hopes the experience the couple can bring to bear will make a difference.

Both have 15 years’ experience in the industry behind them. Mr Reilly is a one-time head chef at the Crutherland House Hotel in East Kilbride, while Mrs Reilly is a former operations manager of the Houston House Hotel.

They launched Loks in Pollok in 2014, which came after the couple extensively refurbished a building previously home to junior team Pollok FC’s social club.

Mr Reilly’s parents have also been “pub people for decades” and run Suburban Taverns, owner of bars such as the Alison Arms, Beechings, the Quarter Gill and Lea Rig. He said: “Clarkston is a hub for several large, affluent communities, including Netherlee, Stamperland, Busby, Williamwood and perhaps Giffnock, as well as the town itself, and while there are various good places about there is room for a stylish, relaxed, independent bar and bistro, serving a wide variety of drinks and food.

“It has been suggested to us by local people that they would like somewhere on their doorstep, that has a friendly community atmosphere, where they can pop in for a drink and a light bite or meal, any time of the day.

“They also want somewhere that’s a draw at the weekends, where they can listen to bit of live music without having to venture into the city.”

The couple have already begun stripping out the building and have lodged a planning application to the local authority seeking consent for their scheme for the premises. They hope the outlet will be up and running by the middle of summer, although that will depend on the planning process.

Beyond pursuing similarly high standards on food, drink and service, the Clarkston venture will not seek to replicate Loks. A name for the outlet has been chosen, but the owners are not ready to disclose it yet. It is hoped the venue will employ up to 20 staff. Loks, which turns over around £1 million, has about 30 staff.