For four years the building stood derelict. Despite a Historic Scotland preservation order it might have stood until decay led to its demolition as a safety hazard, as has sometimes happened, but two groups offered to buy.
One wished to keep the building’s outer shell and turn the inside into luxury flats with basement garage. The Hillhead streets are badly choked by motor vehicles, which perhaps moved Glasgow District Council to prefer the group led by Colin Beattie, who turned it into an arts and leisure centre called Òran Mór.
Refurbishment began in 2002 and Òran Mór opened its doors in June 2004. Since then it has introduced a varying programme of events including new musical talents, comedy nights, regular club nights and of course, the hugely successful A Play, A Pie and A Pint series.