AFTER sitting empty for almost a year, the Boathouse café in Rouken Glen park is set to re-open to the public this week.
The institution closed in July 2012, after being unlawfully occupied for more than six months.
During his time in the facility the previous tenant, Mario Pacitti, ran up debts to East Renfrewshire council of more than £170,000.
Council leader Jim Fletcher believes the council has learned from its mistakes.
He told The Extra: “We were very keen to keep the café open — it’s a critical facility for the community and it has been dearly missed.
“But we need to be sharper with contractors and allow them less leeway, even if that means closing down a facility — that may well be something we have to do.
“We will keep a close eye on finances but this is a carefully-awarded contract, the new tenant is knowledgeable and professional.
“I am sure the new business will be a success.”
The delay in naming a new tenant came after a previous contractor pulled out.
Colin Hopkins, a 45-year-old Giffnock businessman with 25 years experience in the catering industry, will open the café to the public on Monday.
He said: “I visit the park every day with my kids and the dog. I know how important it is — I probably missed out on 350 cappuccinos myself!
“There has been a lot of interest since we arrived on site. We can’t wait to get started.”
The café willopen seven days a week, from 9am till 8pm.