One of St Andrews most iconic “pubs with rooms” has new owners.
The Golf Inn, on the corner of Golf Place, famously “wrapped” by Nike Golf in the Nike logo in the 2015 British Open, when the watering hole traded as No 1 Golf Place, has been acquired by couple Brett Lawrence and Gillian McLaren.
Already running the popular and award winning Rocca Deli in Bell Street in the town, Brett and Gillian, who are soon getting married, have jumped at the chance to put their mark on a second food & drink business in St Andrews. The Golf Inn, which has six bedrooms upstairs, additionally offers them the opportunity to diversify into the hospitality sector.
Under their new direction, it is hoped that The Golf Inn, which includes a well stocked bar, together with a fifty cover Brasserie and upstairs roof terrace, will build up a strong foodie clientele, with experienced chef, Rory MacCrimmon, who recently took part in a successful Savour St Andrews taster lunch event, at the helm. Brett and Gillian also aim to develop St Andrews lucrative short break market through a range of well priced bed & accommodation options at the Inn.
Other plans to drive footfall and build the brand at the Inn, include introducing Stand Up Comedy Nights, together with live music and cocktail nights.
Close to both The Old Course and the West Sands, The Golf Inn enjoys one of the best situations in the town for passing trade.
Commenting on the acquisition, Brett Lawrence said: “Gillian and I are delighted to be taking over at The Golf Inn, one of the best known properties in St Andrews.”
“The situation presented itself to take on another business in the town, and we simply could not resist.”
“We think it’s really important that we are locals already trading in the town,” he said. “We know the business from when it was just a pub, albeit a very well situated one. The Nike endorsement in 2015 got everyone talking. The potential was always there for this business to be so much more, and this still has not been fully exploited,” he added.
“We’re bringing to the table an existing customer base through our award winning deli - locals, students, a whole range of people,” said Gillian. “We also have excellent local contacts, a superb food provenance, and a solid track record in business,” she said.
“Already our existing customers at the deli are talking about The Golf Inn and what our plans are. We are confident that they will come in to see what we are doing here.”
The business benefitted through a £75k makeover back in 2015, when under its former ownership, but Brett and Gillian see further scope to improve and refine the offering.
Said Gillian: “We plan to refresh the interior décor to put our stamp on it, including the bedrooms. It’s in pretty good order, but we see areas that can be improved. This will enable us to effectively relaunch the accommodation side of the business. We have an exciting new menu and are pushing now for festive bookings. Our forthcoming Comedy and themed Nights will add fresh dimension.”
The couple believe there is ample scope for The Golf Inn to ably compete in St Andrews competitive market.
“We’re offering excellent food at a value for money price, along with comfortable accommodation for everyone – golfers and tourists alike,” said Gillian. “The bedrooms are all good sized rooms. The bonus here are the views from our roof terrace, and you can be down on the beach, or on the Old Course, in minutes.”
“For us, in the run up to Christmas, it’s all about getting customers to come in to try our new food offering. Rory, our Head Chef, has worked in a number of Michelin recommended establishments, and he is well known in the town,” added Brett. “His food is exceptional, with signature dishes such as a superb bone marrow burger, fish and chips in polenta batter, wild roast partridge, and sticky miso toffee and dark chocolate mousse. It’s high end dining at very reasonable prices.”
Brett explained that his team already used an excellent network of local suppliers through the deli, which would also be utilised for The Golf Inn. Wanting to make the very most of the town’s foodie credentials, he and Gillian are delighted to have become involved in local organisations such as Savour St Andrews.
“We will be joining some local networking groups too, and plan to look at local sponsorship opportunities for The Golf Inn.”
As they reflect on what will surely be their busiest ever festive season, the couple finished by paying tribute to what they described as “the very best team of people at both our businesses.”
“We’re hugely grateful to them all for their support as we forge ahead with our plans,” said Brett. “We love to be busy, but with two such customer focused businesses as Rocca Deli and The Golf Inn, we certainly could not do it without them!”
Contact The Golf Inn, No 1 Golf Place, St Andrews on 01334 470686.