Star Pubs & Bars has teamed up with hospitality operator Billy McAneney to reopen a boutique pub with rooms in Inverness after a £1.36m investment.
The refurbishment project at Blackfriars, boosted by a £422,606 grant from The Inverness Townscape Heritage Project, is Star’s biggest-ever refurbishment in Scotland.
The project has transformed the business into a high-quality pub specialising in locally sourced food and added nine boutique bedroom to the building’s two upper storeys.
The venue is McAneney’s fourth site with Star and the 12th hospitality business in which he has an interest.
The extensive revamp has sympathetically restored the outside of the Category B listed 18th century building, removing render to reveal the original stonework and reinstating traditional sash and case windows.
The chimneys have been rebuilt and the roof replaced.
A complete refurbishment of the ground floor has extended the kitchen, replaced the toilets and given the pub a striking, contemporary brasserie feel, with stripped floors, exposed brickwork and vibrant colours.
The bedrooms are each named after famous Inverness people and places.
To underline Blackfriars’ commitment to local produce, in the spring McAneney is planning to install beehives and a greenhouse with a hydroponic system on a flat roof to provide honey, herbs and edible flowers for the pub’s cocktails and kitchen.
Says McAneney: “We’ve tried to bring something different to Inverness in terms of design as well as to celebrate the area’s food and drink. Our aim has been to create a place that both locals and visitors enjoy and that caters for all occasions.”
Comments Star Pubs & Bars operations director for Scotland, Brian Davidson: “Blackfriars is a historic building and needed a vast amount of work to restore it properly. The grant from The Inverness Townscape Heritage Project has made the work economically viable and helped us enable Billy to develop a multi-income stream business and a premium venue that does justice to the building.”