1344 Duke Street, Glasgow. G31 5QG.
also see Duke of Touraine Tollcross Road.
This popular bar and restaurant was originally opened as the Duke of Touraine.
Advert for the Duke. 1970.
What the News said in 1970…
I paid my first visit to the Parkhead district last week – to call on the Matteo family, whose Duke of Touraine restaurant was officially opened yesterday by actor John Cairney.
I really didn’t know quite what to expect as I eyed the drab buildings en route. What I found was something akin to an oasis in a desert. Tucked away among the industrial buildings, the workyards, and the tenements there is an absolutely charming licensed restaurant run by an equally charming family – father, mother, two sons, and two daughters.
They’ve all got their own jobs to do they work with a team spirit to be admired. “The Duke of Touraine” is a new name to be seen at 1342 Duke Street, but the Matteo family certainly aren’t new to the area, or to the catering trade, for that matter. Father Robert Matteo bought the premises about eight years ago for his sons to run. At that time consisted of a snack bar and a bakery. “But,” says elder son Tony, “that wasn’t our line, so we turned the bakery into a small licensed restaurant.”
Duke of Touraine advert. 1976.
Until its recent transformation it was known as Le Bon Appetit. The place proved so popular obvious that expansion was the only answer to their problems. So the family bought a fruit shop next door to the restaurant, and about six months ago work started on an ambitious face-lift and general change-around.
The fruit shop was to become a cosy little function suite, and the snack bar and restaurant a lovely olde worlde restaurant where winers and diners can enjoy a cabaret act and dance away to their hearts content. The new name of the place might puzzle folk somewhat. “Well, we wanted something old and connected with the district.” Tony explained. “So we consulted the curator of the Old Glasgow Museum, who suggested this title.
“It is an old French one belonging to the Duke of Hamilton. Apparently it was given to one of his ancestors – the fourth Duke of Hamilton – in 1423. “At one time the Douglas family owned Upper Lanarkshire, including the land on which the restaurant stands.” The Duke of Hamilton gave his permission for a portrait of his ancestors to be used on the menu.
The Matteo family. 1970.
Left to right Robert, Linda, Mrs Maria Matteo, Gloria and Tony.
A “soft light and sweet music” atmosphere plus striking decor by Anthony Sabatini and Oscar Cantani, make this a very desirable place to visit. There are other attractions too – like the two lovely Matteo daughters, Linda and Gloria, who take on the role of waitresses. Then there’s their mother Maria, who is in charge behind the bar, and younger son Robert who helps Tony on the administration side of things.
It’s one big happy family and they’re all out to provide a homely sophisticated atmosphere for Glasgow’s diners.
Maestro Frank Ray, the new restaurant manager preparing one of his specialities for Tom & Jack (Alexander Brothers). Frank Ray, the restaurant manager, joined the company recently. Frank, who has worked in top-class restaurants throughout the city for many years, is called the Maestro.
Enjoy the warm & friendly surroundings of this exquisite restaurant.
Dinner – Dance
every Thursday, Friday and Saturday
to the, Ricky Taylor Trio
under the personal supervision of the proprietors, Tony and Robert Matteo.
The Matteo family have one aim – they want to find out what sort of entertainment their customers want. This week they will be providing two “experimental evenings.” – Wednesday will be ceilidh night, with Scottish entertainment and Scottish food on the menus; and on Thursday they’re going Italian with Italian food and music.
Generally, however, they will be sticking to their nightly dinner-dance idea – 25s during the week and 30s on Saturdays. The a la carte menu is a real mouth-waterer, and chef Jim Bow and the commis chef Allan Keane have their work cut out to provide all the delicious meals listed. The out-of-the-ordinary dish is just as evident as the more-common one. For example, how do you fancy starting off with Escargots Bourguignonne – snails served in garlic butter flavoured with red wine?
Linda Matteo serves dinner at the restaurant. 1970.
The News in February 1979…
One of the best-known and most popular restaurants in the eastend of Glasgow is up for sale… at offers of around £70,000. It is the Duke of Touraine at Parkhead Cross.
The Duke was given to Robert Matteo and his brother Tony 17 years ago by their father. At that time it was a snack bar and bakery, but over the years the Matteo brothers, with the help of their father and mother and sisters, built it into one of the few gourmet restaurants in the eastend of Glasgow, or any-where in the city for that matter.
John Cairney has staged many of his one-man shows in the Duke and others regulars were poet- Jimmy Black and Hector Nicol and Mr. Abie. Robert bought out his brother several years ago, but now he has put the restaurant on the open market. “My father died at Christmas. He was a great help in running the restaurant, but even before that I’d been thinking of selling up.” said Robert.
“I’m getting on for 35 years of age, and I hardly know my children, Roberto 13 and Antonella 10. For years I seem to have been working seven days a week and very often 16 hours a day.
Duke advert 1979.
THE DUKE OF TOURAINE UP FOR SALE…. in the NEWS 1979.
One of the best-known and most popular restaurants in the East Enf of Glasgow is up for SALE… at offers of around £70,000. It is the Duke of Touraine at Parkhead Cross.
The Duke was given to Robert Matteo and his brother Tony 17 years ago by their father.
At that time it was a snack bar and bakery, but over the years the Matteo brothers, with the help of their father mother and sister, built it into one of the few gourmet restaurants in the East End of Glasgow, or any-where in the city for that matter.
John Cairney has staged many of his one-man shows in the Duke and others regulars were poet Jimmy Black and comedians Andy Cameron, Hector Nicol and Mr Abie.
Robert bought out his brother several years ago, but now he has put the restaurant on the open market.
“My father died at Christmas. He was a great help in running the restaurant but even before that I’d been thinking of selling up,” said Robert.
I’m getting on for 35 years of age and I hardly know my children, Roberto (13) and Antonella (10). For years I seem to have been working seven days a week and very often 16 hours a day.
Antlers advert. 1984.
Mr Robert Matteo. 1984.
Robert has now opened the Duke of Touraine in Ingram Street then Sylvester’s next door the the Duke.
IN THE NEWS 1962…
Diggin for information on the Matteo family I stumbled across a restaurateur who was fined £100 by the Glasgow Courts for stealing electricity. Mr Michael Matteo a restaurateur of Westmuir Street and Duke Street was caught using electric power from a neighbouring property to run in his restaurant.
The Gallery. 2005.
One again this place has a new name, now called The Thistle Tavern. 2008.
The Thistle Tavern. 2008.
The Thistle Tavern. 2008.
Also see Tony Matteo’s premises Ocean’s.