The Pancake Pioneers. That is what they are calling themselves. Stack & Still feel like they are at the vanguard of a new trend. And so they might. The new restaurant took 2,455 bookings in two days after announcing their opening. Glasgow’s interest has been piqued.
Let’s bring you up-to-date. Stack & Still, the largest pancake and bar venue in the country, opens tomorrow on West George Street. The venture will create over 30 new jobs for the city and is the brainchild of Glasgow entrepreneur Paul Reynolds, who has already enjoyed success launching The Gin Spa, Gin 71 and Cup venues.
This is a joint venture for Paul with business partner and friend Graham Swankie who was previously at The Meat Bar and most recently held the role of Operations Director at Gin 71.
The pancake menu offers “over 12 million possible flavour combinations”, including buttermilk, buckwheat, gluten free, vegan, dairy free, vegan, sugar free and protein selections.
There’s Glasgow’s first self dispense bar with a selection of 16 beers, ales, ciders, prosecco and a cocktail available on tap for customers.
At a preview tonight, pancakes were appearing from the open kitchen with a multitude of sweet and savoury toppings.
We had a buttermilk pancake stack, lime and chipotle marinated pulled pork, thick slabs of chorizo, coriander, crispy onion and a whiskey maple glaze. We also shared a protein stack with banana, chocolate chip, mascarpone, salted caramel sauce and chocolate sauce.
Depending on how hungry you are, you can chose a single pancake for £3, short stack of three for £5, a full stack of five for £8.
They have nailed the pancake production side of things and the selection of toppings make for intriguing flavour match-ups. Unexpectedly, we preferred the savoury version to the sweet. Both were well-balanced and surprisingly light.
Owner Paul Reynolds fell into the hospitality industry, working as a kitchen porter in Hampshire with his brother when he was 16 years old. He was part of the opening team for Shenanigans on Sauchiehall Street and then spent a number of years working in the United States and London.
He returned home to open Cup on Byres Road. “I had seen the way afternoon tea was presented in other cities, I wanted to make it well-priced and accessible here. So that’s how Cup started. Then my brother was in our Renfield Street place and he said “this feels like an old-fashioned gin palace” and that really started me thinking. From that conversation to the launch of Gin71 was six weeks”.
Now the Scottish gin market has grown and Gin71 has become integrated to that scene. At some point recently there was a conversation about pancakes in Gin71 that stirred new ideas.
“I have fond memories of the Pancake Place in East Kilbride, where I grew up. I would go there with my family on a Thursday and have pancakes with apple, cinnamon and ice cream after school as my treat.
“If you look at the way the restaurant business has gone, you look at things that were trending. We went for cupcakes before they sort of started to trend, afternoon tea was the same, gin the same. There’s a lot of places in Glasgow that are doing pancakes incredibly well. There was nowhere that was a pancake restaurant that doesnt do anything else. The brunch market is worth £82 million per day in the UK.
“One of the things I identified was, there’s nobody really doing a pancake business in the UK at scale, so why don’t we try and create something, and we’ve probably been working on this, I would say, since November of last year.”
The impetus to open in the city centre came when the former Byron Burger site on West George Street became available. They were competing with international chains to win over the landlord, so Stack & Still as a fully formed was sketched out “almost overnight”.
From tomorrow, Glasgow has a destination pancake restaurant. “People have responded to us on social media, they recognise what we are trying to do, mentioning places in Melbourne or the United States. We want to bring people in with a menu that is pancake based but still ticks every box.”
Paul goes on to breakdown the type of service he wants to provide in the fully seated restaurants, catering to breakfast and lunch crowds, families and the nighttime economy, “people wouldn’t necessarily think of pancakes at night time, so we’re going to do a lot of work to make that happen”. They are putting in their own roasting machines for house-roasted coffee. There is a lot of added elements around the drinks offering that the staff will explain when you arrive.
Right now, what you need to know is: Next time you are looking for pancakes and a beer on a Wednesday night, Stack & Still is open for business.
Stack & Still
100 West George Street