A Glasgow city centre business address can make, or break, a hospitality venue.

That flash new concept place you swear opened only last week will shut before you’ve even picked up the phone to book, while others stand the test of time with rare winning formulas that keep the customers coming back, painful parking charges be damned.

An integral figure in the Superlative Dining Group, director of food John Molloy, knows this tricky balancing act all too well working across sites including Gost, The Duke’s Umbrella and Glaschu.

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Pictured: John Molloy, Group director of food Pictured: John Molloy, Group director of food (Image: Supplied)

Speaking about their latest venture, a sister venue dubbed Maison by Glaschu which last month opened in Princes Square, he said: “All of our restaurants are in the city centre, and within them, Glaschu is a bit of an outlier because it’s one of the only fine dining places in the area.

“Most others you’ll find in the West End.

“We got to a point where Glaschu felt like it was being led by what the city centre wanted and we asked ourselves if we wanted to stick to fine dining or go for a brasserie.

“That’s when we decided to open a sister restaurant so that Glaschu could stay as it was.

“Maison is the little sister in age, but as concepts, they’re both equally as strong.”

Overlooking Royal Exchange Square and accessed via intercom, there’s a stylish sophistication to Glaschu, where Scottish produce receives a French kiss in the kitchen.

Although noticeably more relaxed, newcomer Maison enjoys the same attention to detail when it comes to both interior design and menu development, made all the more intriguing by its setting.

“There’s definitely a clientele for this style of food, things like lobster or fruit de mer that’s very well done but in a more casual setting,” Molloy continued after taking a bite from the teeny-tiny chocolate macaron served alongside his coffee.

“It’s all made using the same brilliant produce as Glaschu but in a totally different style which makes it more accessible.

“Because of our shopping centre location, it had to be that way.

“We couldn’t open some weird little oddity of a restaurant.”

Pictured: Maison by Glaschu offers a 120 cover bar area, 85 cover restaurant and 45 cover terracePictured: Maison by Glaschu offers a 120 cover bar area, 85 cover restaurant and 45 cover terrace (Image: Supplied)

Eager to stand out while fitting in, Maison already seems right at home in Princes Square. And while chains including Zizzi and the Everyman Cinema share the space it’s heartening to see a local venture joining the mix.

Molloy said: “Even on a Monday afternoon, the place has a real buzz about it.

“You can sit in here or out front looking down to the rest of the centre without it feeling like a ghost town.

“There are some really established restaurants and the communal space creates a great atmosphere.

“It’s not quite as grand as the huge, ornate shopping centres in Italy, but it’s got that same sort of feel to them.”

Despite setting up shop in one of Glasgow’s best known retail havens, the team at Maison has made a marked effort to launch at a comfortable pace, inviting just a few press and influencers in to spread the word about their food.

Already proving an instant hit is a French onion soup, as thick and unctuous as you like with a cheese pull that’s near impossible to resist photographing in action.

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Pictured: French Onion Soup has proved to be a best sellerPictured: French Onion Soup has proved to be a best seller (Image: Supplied)

Mid-afternoon, waiting staff show an admirable display of balance and strength as they load up circular trays with these heavy soup bowls alongside plates of beef bourguignon or moules marinière to be carried to a table simultaneously.

“There were a few more dishes that are common in France that we could have put on the menu, but that would purely be feeding our egos which is not what we’re about as a company,” Molloy said.

“We asked ourselves what would work well in Glasgow and came up with a menu that was around 70% brasserie classics and the rest are dishes that have the same style but are a little more accessible.

“The ‘poulet roti, frites, jus’, for example, is essentially just chicken, chips and gravy but done extremely well with French Poussin, a jus that takes three days to make and Koffman frites.

“They’re simple dishes with a whole lot of technique behind them that we’re not really shouting about.”

Although reluctant to make any noise about his own skills, Molloy is more than happy to give credit where it’s due to others.

The croissants so perfect they could have arrived fresh from a Paris patisserie that morning were in fact sourced from the Freedom Bakery in the North of Glasgow, who also supply the bread for Maison and the group's wider venues.

Pictured: Pastries are provided by Freedom BakeryPictured: Pastries are provided by Freedom Bakery (Image: Supplied)

“Coffee culture is a big thing in Glasgow,” he said, “and Freedom Bakery seemed fitting for pastries to go with that because the only use Normandy butter.

“I’m a big advocate of letting someone else do something for you if they’re better at it.

“And they definitely make a pain au chocolat way better than I can.”

Also receiving high praise from the chef is executive mixologist Ewan Angus, who glides behind a Mad Men-esque bar area with confidence, picking from bottles of all shapes and sizes to create cocktails he has masterminded specifically for Maison.

Pictured: Cocktails are as important as the food menu at MaisonPictured: Cocktails are as important as the food menu at Maison (Image: Supplied)

He’s another key player in the Superlative Dining Group, and part of the team which allows Molloy to bounce between multiple different venues each day knowing that standards will never slip.

“I have an incredibly restless mind. I’m sure someone would have a field day trying to figure out what's going on in there,” he joked.

“I studied Physiology for three years then trained in fine dining and went travelling quite extensively across Southeast Asia.

“I was also part of the opening team for the Hanoi Bike Shop, so all in all it’s been a varied career.

“Because of that, I don’t think I could stay in just one place cooking the same food. I get too bored.

“We have eight units that are massively different and a great team built up that allows me to jump from place to place knowing that whoever's there is going to thrive.

“Hopefully over summer, we’ll see Maison get busier and busier.”

Maison by Glaschu is located on the second floor of Princes Square in Glasgow city centre.

For more information visit their website here.