L’ARIOSTO restaurant, in Glasgow’s Mitchell Street, opened for business in 1970, “the home of the Italian dinner dance and the place to see and be seen”.

Shortly before Christmas, it introduced two resident entertainers: Tony Capaldi, from Italy, and, from Mexico, Chayo Ballinas.

Capaldi, explained an advertising feature in the Glasgow Herald, was one of Italy’s most popular television artists, and had won the 1967 Europa Song Contest.

He hailed from the same village as Luigi Giannasi, the owner of the restaurant, and as the Italian poet after whom the restaurant had been named.

He was also related to Nick Capaldi, husband of Jimmy Logan’s sister, Heather.

“A friend of mine who was on holiday in Italy was very impressed when he heard him singing in a nightclub,” said Mr Giannasi. “So I invited him over here”.

Mr Ballinas, on the other hand, had recently arrived in Scotland because he had married a Glasgow woman. They had met when she was on holiday in Palma, Majorca, where he was appearing in cabaret. Thus far, he spoke little English, but Mr Giannasi was able to converse with him in a mixture of Italian and Spanish.

Mr Ballinas had brought with him a superbly decorated sombrero. Such items of headwear could cost a fairly hefty sum. “This is just a cheap one”, he said. “It cost me £70”.

The two men sang together and appeared as solo artists at lunchtime. Mr Capaldi appeared on his own in the evenings. Both were going to sing Christmas songs from their native lands for the benefit of L’Ariosto’s diners.

The restaurant was hoping that the presence of the two entertainers would help maintain its high profile, not least during the busy Christmas season.

The venue was long popular with celebrities including Old Firm players.

Today, the restaurant, while occupying the same premises, goes under the name of Barolo.

Read more: Herald Diary