A once-popular Perth restaurant will reopen under a new name and image at the end of the month after it was bought over by a Dundee hospitality business.
The former Fair Maid Stonehouse restaurant closed suddenly in July 2019, but will reopen as Doc Stewarts Perth following a refurbishment of the building.
The Dundee Road eatery is based next to the Isle of Skye Hotel – run by Travelodge Hotels – and reopened in early 2017 having previously operated as a Toby Carvery restaurant.
It is the first time Doc Stewarts has expanded its business portfolio to outside of Dundee, having successfully run The Downfield bar and restaurant for a number of years.
Area manager for the Townshend Group Pete Harvey is currently overseeing the thorough revamp of the venue with the hands-on support of the owners Scott Townshend and Sunny Mollah.
Customers will soon be able to enjoy the facility’s beer garden, Just Eat delivery service, kids’ play area and global cuisine in what will be a welcome boost for the area.
The restaurant will also be the only one in the region to offer the sweet taste of Sunny’s own Baba’s Sauce.
Sunny’s late father created the secret chilli recipe in the late ’70s in Dundee and went on to use this signature sauce in all of his restaurants.
A couple of soft openings are planned for the restaurant in the coming weeks before its official opening, scheduled for the end of May, with dates to be announced imminently.
“We have spoken to dozens of residents who are very excited,” Pete said.
“And we have a great relationship with the Travelodge next door.
“The provost [Dennis Melloy] also walked by and said he and his wife used to use it as their local before it closed and were looking forward to it reopening.
“We believe that we are offering the people of Perth something they maybe have not had before in one place.”
The traditional grill house will serve a wide range of Euro cuisines and Bangladeshi and Indian dishes, as well as a Sunday carvery.
“We will also have a delivery service and have a breakfast buffet, as well as a kids area,” he added. “There will also be a beer garden and picnic tables.
“We are planning on hosting a few soft openings before we open and have a Facebook competition where people get the chance to win meals and tickets to the opening nights.”
The extensive refurbishment project includes work on the roof and exterior walls as well as replacing the old Fair Maid sign out front.
“The roof is being sorted out and we have got the plasterer in to make sure everything has a bit of TLC,” Pete explained.
“The outside of the building is being repainted and inside will also have work done as it was flaking away a bit since it has been left empty.
“We are very excited for this and the people of Perthshire should be too.
“It is a family restaurant and bar and it will be a fresh start for the place.”
The competition is available via the ‘Doc Stewarts Perth’ Facebook page.
George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.