6 restaurant closures in 2021 in Tayside and Fife

The past 12 months have tested the hospitality industry more than ever due to the coronavirus pandemic, with many cities seeing permanent restaurant closures.

This has resulted in a line-up of businesses and branches having no choice but to close their doors to the public permanently, causing huge blows to towns and communities.

While we have witnessed many new businesses sprout onto the scene across Tayside and Fife, it’s important to remember the ones we have lost along the way, including many of the venues we’ve highlighted below.

Gulistan House – Broughty Ferry, Dundee

Known for its Indian curries and a local favourite, Gulistan House on Queen Street was forced to close its doors on October 31, after being in business for 42 years.

Located inside a former church building, the venue was a treasured location for its food, as well as many hosting events, weddings and parties.

Due to the ” “chronic and unstable health” of the business owner since the beginning of 2021, Gulistan made the difficult decision to close down.

Hundreds of customers expressed their shock and sadness, commenting on social media that the closing of the restaurant was ‘a great loss’ to Broughty Ferry and the surrounding community.

The Bothy Restaurant – Perth

Also closing its doors this year to many locals shock and sadness was The Bothy Restaurant, located in the city’s Kinnoull Street.

Labelled by Scottish Conservative Councillor of Perth City Centre Chris Ahern as “another casualty of the pandemic”, The Bothy was immediately closed by parent company G1 in June of 2021.

With such a prominent position in the city centre, its vacancy left many fearful over job losses in Perth.

The pandemic has also seen many retail stores close their doors in Perth’s city centre including Phase Eight, Argos and Lakeland.

restaurants closing
The Bothy Restaurant, Perth.

Cafe Biba – Perth

Shortly after the The Bothy closed its doors in June, local Perth venue Cafe Biba announced to its regulars that they would be closing on October 2.

Owners to The Pancake Place in Dundee, Fife and Elgin informed locals they would not be renewing their lease for the eatery on King Edward Street.

The statement issued in September thanked the customers for their support over the years, and encouraged them to visit their other venues.

They added: “It has been (mainly!) great fun and we’ve had lots of laughs.”

Cafe Biba, Perth.

The Haarbour – St Andrews

Run by MasterChef finalist Dean Banks, The Haarbour fish and chip shop officially shut its doors in August of 2021.

Announcing their closure on Instagram, Dean banks commented he was left gutted after making the decision to close the establishment permanently.

Having been shut for the few months prior to the announcement, Mr Banks apologised to his “amazing followers and supporters”.

A new fish and chip shop called Dram and Haddock calls the venue at Alexandria Place home. The venue is the sister restaurant to the Dram and Haggis, a whisky bar which opened round the corner in April at the Kinnettles Hotel.

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Owner Dean Banks at the Haarbour fish and chip restaurant.

Haar – St Andrews

As a result of ongoing lease issues, Dean Banks had problems with another one of his restaurants, Haar, in April 2021.

Located in North Street in the popular tourist town, Haar had only experienced one year of full operation before the restrictions and multiple openings and closures during the pandemic took place.

As a result, Dean looked to take his restaurant experience to Edinburgh where he had originally planned to open a second location prior to the pandemic. He opened a restaurant in The Pompadour, located within the five star Waldorf Astoria.

However, all was not lost as Dean has since managed to acquire a new home for Haar at the former Golf Inn on Golf Place, bringing his dining concept home to St Andrews with his new restaurant with rooms.

This venue has a more interactive experience for customers and officially opened its doors in December 2021, just in time for Christmas.

The rooms will open in 2022 once refurbished and Dean is delighted to have both his Edinburgh and St Andrews in full operation.

Spaces available for dinner service tonight! 🍴Will you be joining us on Haar’s opening weekend? 🌊Follow link below to reserve! ⬇️📲: haarrestaurant.com

Posted by Haar Restaurant on Sunday, 19 December 2021

Peppo’s Harbour Chip Bar – Arbroath

After seven decades of service to the Arbroath town, Peppo’s Harbour Chip Bar closed it’s doors for takeaway in October.

The Orsi family have run the chippy since 1951 and have served a range of customers including wrestlers, film stars and comedians.

Brothers and joint owners Frank and John Orsi felt it was time to let Peppo’s go.

Frank commented: “It’s sad that we’re shutting down but you feel it when it’s right, you know inside of yourself that it’s time to shut.

“We were aiming for the 70th anniversary and that’s what we’ve managed to do. We’re going to shut on October 2, exactly 70 years after we opened.”

The pair agreed that they had enjoyed many fun times over the years, but it was time to wave goodbye.

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John and Frank Orsi outside Peppo’s in Arbroath.

After putting their shop up for sale, new owner Garry Smith has since taken ownership of the establishment and reopened it under the name The Harbour Fish and Chips.

Having visited Peppo’s as a boy, Garry saw a new opportunity after facing redundancy from the oil and gas sector.

Due to this being a major career change, Garry learned from experts John and Frank Orsi and has been trading since October 6.

Garry Smith with his new signage at The Harbour Fish and Chips in Arbroath.

More from food and drink…

Lifestyle – The Courier Dundee