A Northern Irish cafe chain is planning to convert an empty shop on Sauchiehall Street.

Bob & Berts has asked Glasgow City Council for permission to change the use of a B-listed building to “bring unused and vacant space back into use”.

The application, for 154 Sauchiehall Street, states the owners of the site have been in talks with the council over the future of the building and the wider Savoy Centre regarding regeneration.

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It adds: “This unit has been vacant for some time and if permission is granted it will allow a vacant unit to be brought back into commercial activity with an end user already secured (Bob & Berts). 

“The overall aspirations for this part of Sauchiehall Street are to create a vibrant viable destination which is attractive to tenants, employees and visitors to Sauchiehall Street.”

Founded in Portstewart, Northern Ireland, in 2013, the company expanded into Scotland in 2018 and now has five venues in the country, including in Falkirk and Stirling, as well as four premises in the north of England. 

Bob & Berts promises “proper coffee” and “great grub”, offering all day breakfasts, lunches, light bites, sweet treats, shakes and smoothies.

It is claimed it has not been possible to find a retail use for the ground floor of the empty Sauchiehall Street building.

The plans add: “The proposal represents a long term and sustainable use for the space and will encourage footfall along this section of Sauchiehall Street which is a prime retail and tourist route.

“There is a clear intent on the part of the applicant to deliver a scheme (as part of wider considerations for the Savoy Centre) which has longevity and is an attractive place in which to socialise.  “The proposed development represents an opportunity to deliver investment in the subject unit whilst sympathetically reusing a vacant listed building.”

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They also state there has been a “significant shift in retail focus away from Sauchiehall Street for major retailers”. “It is therefore considered that there is a strong justification change of use at this location to allow flexibility in relation to bringing this long term vacant use back into full occupation.

“The proposed development would not harm the overall function of this part of Sauchiehall Street for retail uses and in addition would support the existing retail units in terms of footfall and vitality.”