Owner of Dundee restaurant 172 At The Caird vows to reopen after operators pull plug

The interior of 172 At The Caird.

The owner of a Dundee restaurant that shut down “due to unforeseen circumstances” has vowed it will reopen in the New Year.

Glasgow restaurateur Cosmo Molinaro opened 172 At The Caird after a battle with Dundee City Council’s licensing board in March this year.

He then leased the operation to another Glasgow company at the end of May but they decided to pull the plug on their operation without warning on Wednesday.

Mr Molinaro said he was legally restricted on what he could say but would re-assume personal control of the Nethergate restaurant in January.

He said: “I own the property but leased it at the end of May to a company from Glasgow.

“I then got a phonecall at quarter to 12 on Wednesday saying they had ceased trading.

“I don’t know why – their rent has been up-to-date.”

He added: “Legally, I can’t say too much but we will re-open under the original management.”

Mr Molinaro added that any vouchers customers have bought for 172 At The Caird will still be valid once it re-opens.

A Facebook post on Wednesday night announced The Caird would be closed until January 18 “due to unforeseen circumstances”.

Dundee City Council’s licensing board refused an alcohol licence for the restaurant in December 2015 as they believed a ground-floor cocktail bar would lead to an over-provision of on-sales in the city centre.

But they unanimously approved a revised application just weeks later that said alcohol would not be served without food.

The licensing board received hundreds of letters of support for the restaurant, including from stars Joanna Lumley and Lorraine Kelly.

The restaurant and bar opened last March in the B-listed Caird House overlooking the River Tay.

The building, built in 1840, once belonged to jute baron Sir James Key Caird.

He gifted it to the people of Dundee as a resting place and reading room for the aged and infirm.

Caird Rest officially opened in 1912 and was used as a Red Cross hospital during the First World War.

During the Second World War it housed the Norwegian Officers Club.