For nearly two centuries it was the Royal Bank of Scotland’s Glasgow base, now the Grade Listed building in Royal Exchange Square will be home to pasta not pounds.
Opening its doors to diners in February, the new 200-seater Zizzi in Royal Exchange Square has already garnished rave reviews. With over one hundred restaurants in the UK, Zizzi is a respected all Italian brand famous for personality and theatre.
Building on the popularity of the brand in the city, this third installment of Zizzi successfully strikes a balance between the history and the contemporary- the exhibition of local artwork complements the grandiose architecture and provides the diner with a stunning backdrop.
A mainstay of any Zizzi restaurant is the open kitchen and this new venue is no exception, with wood stone pizza ovens and chef’s table on full display to diners.
Speaking about the interior, Lead Designer for Zizzi, Sian Quantrill said:
“We wanted to create an interior which was both sympathetic to the beautiful building but also in line with Zizzi’s fun, contemporary brand style.
“All the fixtures and fittings were chosen with this in mind, from the traditional black and white terrazzo flooring to the fresh, bright furniture colour scheme.
“Lighting is also very important in our restaurants and here we have used a range of lighting styles, from the traditional blackened steel scissor arm wall lights and Lampe Gras anglepoise style lights suspended from the ceiling over our booth seating on the mezzanine floor, to the contemporary Foscarini Diesel wall lights used in our toilets.
“When creating interiors for each of our restaurants we research the local area for inspiration. With this particular site the building has such a rich history, which enabled us to draw inspiration from past uses of the building.
“When designing a Zizzi, be it a refurbishment or new site, we achieve the balance of representing the overall brand but also complement the restaurant building by creating something individual.”
Speaking on the design, General Manager Mike Lee added:
“It’s worth coming along to because we’ve used fresh, local talent for the décor. The art and textiles have been designed by artists who have been to the Glasgow School of Art over the years.
“We’ve tried to stay in keeping with the history of the building – it used to be a bank so we’ve picked out some of that design.
“It’s definitely worth coming along to see what we’ve done with the building. It’s the same frontage as the Gallery of Modern Art but inside it’s a really modern and shiny mezzanine that captures some of the history of Glasgow.”
The main contractors on the development were Turret Developments and the architects were local practice G1 Architects.
When asked what the venue means to the Zizzi brand, Sian said:
“This project has been particularly special for all of us to deliver as it has long been in the pipeline. We feel incredibly lucky to have secured such an iconic building in the centre of Glasgow and it has been great fun transforming the inside space. To date this is our largest restaurant within our estate and also houses a separate bar area which is a first for Zizzi.
“This was a challenging site due to the scale of the building and naturally the Grade A listing presented challenges. That said, we are all extremely proud of the end result and expect it to be well received by the local residents of Glasgow.”
Those new to the Zizzi experience can expect a delicious array of authentic Italian cuisine complemented by a tempting wine list and cocktail menu.
For more information about the Royal Exchange Square restaurant go to www.zizzi.co.uk.