Glasgow's Charles Rennie Mackintosh-inspired Willow Tea Rooms put up for sale

The Willow Tea Rooms has been owned by Anne Mulhern since the early eighties. Picture: Contributed
The Willow Tea Rooms has been owned by Anne Mulhern since the early eighties. Picture: Contributed
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One of Scotland's most famous cafés is to be put up for sale after its owner announced plans to retire.

Glasgow's Charles Rennie Mackintosh-inspired Willow Tea Rooms has been considered among the city's must-visit attractions since opening more than two decades ago.

Anne Mulhern, 63, who has owned the business for the last 36 years, made the decision to step aside following a recent bout of poor health.

Anne commented: “The Willow Tea Rooms has been a joy to create and operate along with my first-class management team and staff. However, after many fun and successful years I have made the difficult decision that it is time to retire.

READ MORE: Charles Rennie Mackintosh’s restored Willow Tea Room building revealed
“I am almost at retirement age and want to take some time out to enjoy my new home and to visit my family in America and London whenever I can. I had a health scare earlier in the year and realised it’s time to slow down and enjoy life.

"The Willow Tea Rooms has been a joy to create and operate along with my first-class management team and staff. I know that I am passing on a fantastic business, in a prime site, with real potential, particularly to develop the brand.

"We do not know how long the sale of the business might take and in the meantime, it will be very much business as usual from me and the team”.

Not to be confused with The Willow Tea Rooms situated above Watt Brothers department store on Sauchiehall Street, the Buchanan Street premises has been put on the market with a price tag of £125,000.

The sale includes the café's Art Nouveau trade fixtures, fittings and furnishings and all items associated with the Willow Tea Rooms brand.

The highly-profitable business, which reportedly generates sales of more than £1 million per annum, was modelled on Mackintosh's designs for Kate Cranston's Ingram Street Tea Rooms in the early 1900s.

Leasing agents CDLH say the sale represents a "unique opportunity" to acquire a much-loved Glasgow institution in the city's prime retail area for a competitive price.

Alan Creevy, Director at CDLH commented: “The Willow Tea Rooms were established in Buchanan Street in 1997 and have a prime position, with the entrance adjacent to Jo Malone and neighbours, including Princes Square, the House of Fraser, TGI Fridays and Glasgow’s recently opened The Ivy Restaurant.

"The Willow takes inspiration from Mackintosh’s interiors for Kate Cranston’s Ingram Street Tea Rooms, with the White Room Restaurant at first floor level and The Chinese (Blue) Room Restaurant at second floor level. There is a third floor, providing staff storage and office accommodation all extending to around 4,600 sq. ft”.

He added: "The business will be sold on a new lease long term lease”.

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