For more than 75 years it was the place to be in Glasgow, welcoming celebrities, the city's top hairdressers, business leaders and envious restaurateurs.

With its unique 1930s ambiance and Art Deco design the Rogano was at one time the oldest surviving restaurant in the city, reports The Herald. 

However, it closed its doors when the pandemic broke out in March 2020 and has not re-opened.

And it will take someone with "deep pockets" to restore the restaurant institution to its former glory, according to a former employee.

The restaurant in Royal Exchange Square suffered a serious flood while it was locked up and the damage is said to be substantial.

Glasgow Times:

"During lockdown they took their eye off the ball and the place wasn't maintained," he said.

"In the three floors of offices above there's a toilet block in it and it used to happen when I was there.

"Over the winter the toilet block froze solid and the pipes all burst and when the thaw came down it came.

"No one was checking the building. I have seen photographs where the ceilings are down and the floors are up."

He said the old cellars in the building are also believed to have collapsed. 

"The first thing that needs to be established is who actually owns it," he said.

Glasgow Times:

"It will definitely re-open but it's going to take someone with very deep pockets to do it", he said.

"When it was renovated in the 1980s, the budget then was £250,000 and it ended up being £450,000.

"Nowadays it would need to be someone with about £2.5million -easy. It was never looked after."

Rogano was previously owned by Lynnet Leisure, overseen by Lynne Mortimer, the daughter of former nightclub tycoon James Mortimer, which experienced financial difficulties in 2020.

The latest Company House records show the termination of the appointment of two directors.

There are rumours that the company's debt was acquired by a prominent Scottish businessman but nothing has been confirmed.

Citation in the Merchant City, which was also owned by the company and run as a restaurant and bar, is now a luxury wedding and events venue.

The firm also owned 29 private members club, which closed in 2022.

The Rogano was born when Kirkintilloch-born wine merchant James Henry Roger took over a wine cellar in Charing Cross called the Bodega, which had been in operation since 1874.

Much like the bodega bars abroad, wine could be bought straight from the cask.

Glasgow Times:

When he took over, Roger changed the name to Rogano – said to be inspired by the first three letters of his name, followed by ‘ano’ - meaning ‘another’, in reference to his silent business partner, Mr Anderson.

The Rogano was taken over by the Grant family in 1935, and they closed the bodega bar.

It was then that the restaurant became the iconic Art Deco institution that it would be loved and recognised for. 

The Art Deco interior was inspired by the Queen Mary, with a beautiful seascape mural inside adding to the atmosphere, and legend even has it that the shipyard staff would pay their bills with wood intended for the ship.

Don Grant and then his daughter carried on running the Rogano until the 1980s when they sold it to Alloa Breweries, who refurbished it again and reopened it in June 1984 under head chef Ferrier Richardson.

It would go on to change hands a great deal many more times until it was purchased by Glasgow-based Lynett Leisure in 2006 for £7m.

Jude Law, Mick Jagger, David Bowie, Elizabeth Taylor and Harvey Keitel are just some of the celebrity guests who have dined there.