Four months after the closure of marina restaurant The Boathouse is now back in business after being acquired by restaurateur Ryan Barrie and his wife, model and former Miss Scotland Aisling Friel.
The Glasgow businessman, who has a string of upmarket bar and restaurant successes under his belt, said he was keen to take on the Kilsyth venue which closed suddenly in October last year with the loss of 36 jobs.
Ryan had been brought in as consultant to the revamp of the Kinema venue in Dunfermline and is also behind a number of Glasgow city venues, including the Spiritualist and Citation.
With The Boathouse, he said he was bringing a “city centre dining experience” to the community of Kilsyth. The boutique hotel and restaurant was a well-known venue for locals and visitors to the Auchinstarry marina, and Ryan said the community had shown a huge deal of interest in the next chapter in its life.
“We regularly had people knocking on our doors asking what was happening to the place, and when we were opening. People were upset about its closure, and excited to know it was opening up again,” he said.
While Ryan’s previous bars have seen substantial interior refurbishment, Aisling said the refit had been a “light touch”, adding: “It’s a classy finish and of the highest standard, as you’d expect with Ryan’s bars, but it’s still recognisably The Boathouse. It’s been improved and enhanced, rather than completely refurbished.”
The interior, Aisling said, had been complemented by an open fire and light, airy design, while the views of the canal would remain a popular draw for customers.
Ryan said he had also brought in acclaimed chef Mark Stocks, the creator of menus at venues such as Spiritualist and Citation.
The venue has created 30 jobs and there are plans for more as the business develops.
“It’s always an exciting challenge opening venues like this,” said Ryan. “The team has worked immensely hard.”