Anniversary feast for Battlefield Rest

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A southside landmark celebrates two anniversaries this year with one big birthday party held on Sunday (October 26).

Battlefield Rest has been a restaurant for 20 years, since the iconic building was restored by owner Marco Giannasi.

Built in 1914 as a tram stop — now the only remaining one in Scotland — this year also marks 100 years as a focal point for Battlefield.

Cut to the 90s and the building was empty and in desperate need of repair.

Marco told The Extra: “It was up for tender for four years and nothing happened, so I approached the council and agreed on a nominal sum of £1 to buy it. But I still had to refurbish it exactly as it used to be.

“Nowadays, the clock works as it did 100 years ago and the building is in good condition.”

“About 70 per cent of business is from locals who have been very loyal customers,” Marco added. “The clientele is second generation — 20 years ago they were babies, and now they’re coming in with prams.

“The southside is like a big town and I’m very happy here.”

The Rest must be doing something right, with two nominations at the Scottish Italian Awards on the very night of the anniversary celebrations.

But before the long-serving team find out if they’ve won, it’s time for a big celebration.

The owner explained: “It’s £10 for a glass of wine on arrival, and another with antipasti. We’ll have Mark Rafferty and the Easy Orchestra playing live and all the money is going to Marie Curie and Macmillan Cancer Care.”

The restaurant is donating the proceeds in honour of a family friend recently diagnosed with terminal cancer.

Marco and wife Yellena are going one step further, too, taking on the Ice Bucket Challenge outside.

He commented: “It was decided in July — when you’re warm you think, no problem. But maybe if it’s cold outside then we’ll be ready for it.

“We’re having a raffle too with prizes donated by local businesses — as well as auctioning off who throws the bucket.”

The event runs on Sundayfrom 1.30-5pm, with tickets on the door.

As for the next 20 years, Marco added: “I’m going to get a zimmer frame, custom made for catering. The restaurant will need to be passed on, but we’ll try to keep it in-house.”