Coronavirus

‘Many NHS staff are risking their lives and we just want to help by giving out meals’

By Ian Marland at

A popular West End bar and restaurant is appealing for donations to sustain its response to the coronavirus outbreak.

1051 GWR has been turning out 500 free meals a day for elderly people, those self-isolating and schoolchildren.

The bar’s two big catering kitchens are also feeding NHS staff looking for a quick meal before returning to their shifts.

Three people in restaurant

Team 1051 GWR: Chef patron Steven Caputa, general manager Maggie Davidson and owner David Maguire

David Maguire and his dedicated team have been covering the cost of the considerable operation.

This week the restaurant on Great Western Road by Gartnavel Hospital hired a second pizza oven to keep up with demand.

Meals for elderly people and local residents who are self-isolating are being collected by volunteers.

The bar is also supplying Drumchapel Food Bank and working with St Gregory’s Church in Kelvindale to supply families on the Wyndford estate.

Heartened

Bar owner David said: “We saw an explosion of good will on messaging and social media sites of people wanting to volunteer.

“We thought we could easily give away stuff to the elderly, the vulnerable – as long as these volunteers are happy to come and get it for them, and they are.

“We have got volunteers coming down and picking up two bowls of soup, two pastas and two pizzas and walking them to their neighbours.”

David said his team were heartened to be helping the frontline effort to tackle the outbreak.

Restaurant food

Volunteers collect provisions supplied by the restaurant and deliver to local people and groups.

He said: “A lot of NHS staff are finding it hard to get a meal right now.

“They are working long, long shifts. They are going to the shops and there is nothing left.

“There is nowhere where they can get a takeaway easily.

“These people are putting their lives at significant and terrible risk.

‘There is nowhere where they can get a takeaway easily.

‘These people are putting their lives at significant and terrible risk’

David Maguire

“We thought that at the very least we could give these people a nice meal if we possibly can.

“If that can give them a lift and it means they can keep going, then we will do that.”

David paid tribute to this team, Steven Caputa, chef patron, and general manager Maggie Davidson.

The restaurant has been transformed into a military-style canteen.

Sign outside restaurant

How the bar is advertising its free meal service on Great Western Road.

A queue-system has been put in place for NHS staff and volunteers collecting food.

Everyone entering the restaurant is under strict instructions to use the bottles of hand sanitiser provided.

The operation is costing £1,500 a day in food and staffing.

David would like to keep the meals going for the duration of the 21-day lockdown.

Volunteers

“We will just give it away until it runs out on the day, and then in the morning we are in a 8am to make fresh sauces and fresh soups, more dough, everything.

“We have set up gofundme page and the money will go straight to buying more stuff.”

David said his team is also looking for volunteers with catering experience to help out.

* Contact 0141 339 5575, or email 1051gwr@gmail.com. You can find the gofundme page here.