When Riverhill's owners, Eva Robertson and Bob McDonald moved from Glasgow's West End to Helensburgh, they struggled to find somewhere to get a decent coffee, cake or sandwich.... there was only one thing for it…..and so Riverhill was born!
In March 2010 head chef Johnny Aitken came on board and together they opened Riverhill Deli. This small bustly deli soon built up a strong reputation and loyal clientele based on its commitment to friendly, warm service and delicious, wholesome, tasty food, sourced locally, prepared and cooked on site, and as fresh and seasonal as possible.
A jeweller to trade, Eva then began to see the potential in turning her Gordon Street jeweller's business in to an independent coffee shop that offered the same friendly service and food offering as the deli, but in a take away format.
In January 2013 the coffee shop opened its doors and very quickly became a regular lunch destination for city centre office workers, tourists, coffee aficionados and locals. It offered a real alternative to the surrounding mainstream coffee giants and was the first business in the city centre to champion the Glasgow roasted Dear Green coffee brand.
With a captive city centre market and a continued focus on an ever changing quality sandwich and cake range, the coffee bar’s takings have doubled in its the first two years. It continues to grow through our use of social media, and positive feedback on sites such as Trip Advisor and media interest in magazines such as the List. The staff were delighted to win Yelp’s “friendliest staff in Glasgow” award in 2014.
Meanwhile in Helensburgh, the deli was beginning to grow. Its Friday, Saturday and food themed nights were fully booked, and the tiny kitchen that Johnny and his team were working out of was proving too small to produce the range of food that they were so passionate about.
A fanatastic new site was found and work commenced on converting the Good Templar’s Hall on West Princes Street into the impressive home that is today’s Riverhill Courtyard.
This 70 seater restaurant and bar aims to be a family orientated restaurant offering breakfast, lunch and dinner with the familiar Riverhill twist. It gives the chefs the platform to showcase the eclectic world food that they champion, with focus on seasonality, provenance and foraged ingredients. The bar has become popular with locals, who can enjoy their usual Dear Green coffee or a cocktail from the bespoke menu.
Towards the end of 2014 the deli in Helensburgh was sold, as the focus turned to providing our growing city centre customer base with the restaurant experience they desired.
The West Nile Street site became available, giving Riverhill the much needed opportunity to knock through the basement and expand the kitchen downstairs creating a fully functioning professional kitchen that can service a 45 seater bar/ restaurant above whilst continuing to produce a new and exciting range for the coffee bar.
West Nile Street gives us the opportunity to bring together everything that we have worked towards over the past 4 years, in a key city centre location.