When it comes to dining out in the Southside, there’s nowhere quite like the Battlefield Rest.

For almost thirty years the family run restaurant has been the go to spot for celebrating special occasions, devouring sunny day ice creams or even just enjoying a beer while chatting with their warm and friendly staff.

As they prepare to celebrate their 27th birthday, Owner Marco Giannasi spoke with the Glasgow Times to share what he believes are the secrets to such long-lasting success.

Glasgow Times: Pictured: Owner Marco Gianassi opened the battlefield rest in 1994Pictured: Owner Marco Gianassi opened the battlefield rest in 1994

He said: “I’m really happy and so proud to have reached 27 years of age with the same owner, chef and manager.

“It feels amazing to have achieved that in such a tough industry.

“A lot of our core staff have been here for between fifteen and twenty years so for us it’s all about consistency. I think that’s the secret to surviving.

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“We’ve seen a lot of places open over the years who have done well at first because they’re trendy but don’t last because their customer base is just waiting to move on to the next new place.

“It’s almost like fashion. You could buy a fancy pair of trousers which will go out of style within a year, but if you buy something classic you know it will last forever.”

When it comes to the menu at the Battlefield rest, classic is key. Their no-nonsense approach to serving high quality yet comforting dishes has seen them outlast plenty of other competitors in the area.

When asked what it is that keeps people coming back to the Battlefield Rest time and time again Marco said: “We serve a really nice mixture of dishes and have quite an individual style that helps us to stand out.

“It’s almost a Scottish and Italian fusion because we use a lot of fresh local produce.

“The thing about our customers is that they’re a very good helping us maintain the standards of our food because a lot of people will come in and eat the same thing every time.

“If someone has been ordering the meatballs for ten years and one day says: ‘these taste completely different today’ then we’ll say ‘Woah ok put the handbrake on, we need to get to the bottom of this.’

“They keep us on the ball with our dishes because they know exactly how it should taste.

“It’s so important to us to keep up that level of dedication to getting it right.

“Every evening our discussions are about whether the customers were all happy, not how busy we were or how much money we made.”

It’s an admirable way of working, but their customers aren’t just a useful form of quality control at the restaurant.

After so long in the game, Marco has watched many different generations pass through his doors and sees them all as extended family.

He said: “There are customers who used to be brought into the restaurant as babies in prams who now come in with their own children.

“In so many other places you go in for a meal and then just leave, but my favourite thing anyone has ever said about the Battlefield Rest is that you come in as a customer and leave as a friend.”

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“They really are our friends and a huge part of the restaurant.”

Unsurprisingly Marco has witnessed a lot of changes to the Battlefield area since opening his restaurant in 1994, particularly within the last few years.

Far from worrying about fighting for custom, he says that these new arrivals are a welcome addition to the neighbourhood.

“There are a lot of new places opening up in the Southside and that’s great.

“We don’t see it as competition at all because we know that the way we work best is to keep doing the same thing we’ve been for 27 years, making sure the business is strong from the inside out.

“More places opening is a good thing because it’s really starting to feel like the new Finnieston.

“It will bring more people to the Southside, and we’ll be right there in the middle of it working the way we always have.”

The Rest really is right in the middle of it all, enjoying a prime position in the heart of Battlefield.

The beautiful building which houses the restaurant is a former tram station protected by the heritage trust.

Built in 1914, it has survived world wars, a nearly disastrous fire and a proposed demolition from the Glasgow council.

Marco said: “People didn’t really pay much attention to our building in the first 15 years or so.

“Now there are an awful lot of photographers or artists who have really started to appreciate it.

“We quite often see people who are walking past stop to say what a cool building it is.

“We’ve got some big restoration work planned because the wooden features are starting to fall apart a little.

“We want it to be back to exactly how it was back in 1914 and we have a Southside firm who are going to help us so do that.

“It’s in very good hands this time around. It’s going to be fantastic.”

Making sure that they are supporting other Southside businesses is of the utmost importance to Marco and the team at the Battlefield Rest who know that a huge part of their success is due to local support and a shared sense of community.

In one final reflection on the past 27 years, Marco said: “There’s no comparing the Southside to anywhere else in Glasgow, the community feeling here is so unique and special.

“I’ve had other restaurants in the past but this one feels very important to me.

“Our staff, the building and our customers we’re all growing old together.”

Here’s to many more years of the Battlefield Rest.