Glasgow’s south side restaurant, McMillan’s, cuts outdoor seating into ‘compromise’ with neighbors

The owners of a popular restaurant on the south side have agreed to reduce the number of outdoor seating as a “goodwill gesture” to the neighbors.

Residents living near McMillan’s Steak and Chophouse have asked that plans to expand the outdoor space be rejected over fears over noise and reckless parking.

The venue – which was able to serve more outside customers under a temporary license during the pandemic – had applied to the city’s licensing board for permission to permanently increase the seating capacity from 44 to 80.

But, after an on-site visit from board members, the restaurant offered to reduce that figure to 72 and reintroduce parking spaces.

Neighbors complained that the original proposal was “excessive and inappropriate” for a residential area.

They are also concerned that the restaurant will turn into a “stealth pub” due to plans to broadcast televised sports and host live performances.

However, the Licensing Board agreed to change the license, with reduced seats and a restriction on live performances until after 11 a.m.

Two opponents at the board meeting praised the decision to cut capacity, but were disappointed at the lack of consultation with McMillan bosses.

Stephen McGowan, representative of the restaurant, said he had met his client who “felt that it would be useful and judicious to offer a compromise and to propose a reduced surface”.

The change reintroduces parking spots, which McGowan said “some residents feared losing”. He added that with the changes, the net increase in capacity would be 28 seats.

“My client is hoping that this can be seen as a gesture of goodwill and compromise to go for a revised area.”

Mr McGowan also said the approved area was “smaller” than that used under the temporary permit.

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Susanne Henderson, who lives nearby, said: “There was no attempt to contact us. In principle, I welcome the attempt to reduce capacity.

“I also remain concerned about the license application for live performances indoors, which I believe will significantly increase noise from the premises.”

Restaurant owner Miles McMillan said, “We sat down and went through all the points they raised at the first hearing. We took them all into account in detail and decided to offer a small area.

The license variation also allows the restaurant to open earlier to serve breakfasts, broadcast live sporting events, and sell alcohol for consumption off the premises, primarily as part of food deliveries.

As well as neighbors, objections to the request had been submitted by Bailie Norman McLeod, Bailie Hanif Raja, Cllr Jon Molyenux, the Strathbungo Society and the Shawlands and Strathbungo Community Council.

In an initial hearing, a neighbor said the application “sought to make them licensed premises with a focus on drinks, sports and, more worryingly, live musical performances.”

But Mr McGowan said there was not “some sort of creepy masquerade trying to turn these premises into what has been described as a sports bar, or some sort of rowdy, rowdy pub.”

“There will be very little difference between the way they are negotiating now. “

He said the restaurant wanted to be able to show a “sporting occasion”, like Wimbledon, the Euros or the Commonwealth Games. He added that live performances had already been authorized, but were “very rare”.