MORAY restaurateurs Ruth and Barry Scott have made sure they are well positioned for the reopening of outdoor areas by utilising their secondary business to create a social distancing-friendly dining space.
The Scotts, who opened The Bothy Bistro in Burghead in 2011, are also the owners of the nearby West Beach Caravan Park. A fortnight ago they launched a food takeaway operation in the grounds of the caravan park called The Bootlegger’s Bothy.
Created by converting two shipping containers into kitchen space, The Bootlegger’s Bothy has been serving a range of fresh seafood dishes, with draught beer from local breweries served from a vintage Citroen van.
Dishes include freshly dressed Hopeman crabs and lobster, Shetland mussels served in chilli, garlic and white wine and Shetland scallops with the local butcher’s black pudding.
And when the Scottish Government gives the green light for outdoor areas to reopen the couple will be using the caravan park’s picnic benches, which have been positioned to maintain social distancing, as an outdoor dining space.
“With the restaurant closed, it’s been a very challenging few months for all in our industry,” said Ruth.
“When restrictions were imposed we knew that The Bothy Bistro in its current form would not be viable until restrictions were completely lifted. This left us with two options – mothball the business or find a solution to the restrictions facing the industry.
“With The Bootlegger’s Bothy, we combine our superb and experienced team with a magnificent location, and thanks to the space in the park, can abide by all social distancing rules.
“Bootlegger’s has three open fire grills, where our meat and vegetables are put on to slow roast or smoke for the day’s service. We have been so busy, people are queuing for over an hour, especially on sunny evenings.
“We’re delighted to be back doing what we love, and will look forward to welcoming people from further afield when the time is right.”