Berry good move for restaurateurs

THE owner of a Dunblane hotel has teamed up with the husband and wife duo behind Juniper bar and restaurant in Tillicoultry to open a new brasserie.

Alex McKie (left) of Fusion Group, which owns Old Churches House with Marie Claire and Kenny Wilson of Juniper.

Alex McKie, who transformed the former multi-faith ecumenical centre into Old Churches House in 2013, has joined forces with Kenny and Marie Claire Wilson to launch Juniper at Old Churches House.

The new venue, which opened in the hotel’s former Dublathian brasserie earlier this month (August 1), will, like its sister outlet, major in locally-sourced, seasonal produce and “highly creative” vegetarian and gluten-free dishes.

McKie said the partnership with the Wilsons is a natural fit.

“It was very much a meeting of minds when, as two existing businesses operating a short distance away, we found one another and realised that it would be mutually beneficial to form a partnership,” he said.

“This not only breathes new life into our food offering as a busy hotel and events venue in one of the most vibrant ‘foodie’ parts of Scotland, but also enables Kenny and Marie Claire to open a second outlet of their successful Juniper concept.

“Kenny will also lend his expertise to our wedding and events menus, so there is huge scope to present something new to this market.”

Kenny, whose career includes working at Gleneagles, Grange Manor in Falkirk and onboard the QE2 as well as appearances on STV series Square Meals, said of the partnership: “It’s great news for us, with this major opportunity to expand and grow our restaurant concept coming along at just the right time. It’s a stunning space and a fitting location for our second venue.”