A new wave for Cawley group in Lochwinnoch

a restaurant interior with blue and white interior and a tree in the middle of the room

Multiple operator launches Boat Yard following major root and branch refurbishment

WHEN Cawley Hotels & Restaurants group carries out a refurbishment of one of its outlets, it doesn’t do things by halves – and its latest project is no exception.

The family business, which owns Duck Bay at Loch Lomond, Coast in Langbank, Boardwalk in Falkirk and River House in Stirling, launched Boat Yard in Lochwinnoch last week, following a major £2.1 million overhaul of its former Loch House outlet.

When SLTN caught up with Alan Cawley at the venue ahead of the launch, he conceded that the year-long project “grew arms and legs”.

And it’s clear no stone was left unturned.

Outside, New England-style sea blue cladding has been applied to the exterior of the building – a former Brewers Fayre outlet which Cawley Hotels acquired in 2003 and traded under its Hungry Monk brand before relaunching it as the Loch House in 2013; and there are further nautical references outside – from the boats either side of the entrance to the yacht cleats along the walkway.

Subtle nods to the nautical thread that runs through each of Cawley Hotels’ outlets continue inside Boat Yard, where the vast space has been ‘split’ into distinct areas – from the 70-cover lounge area, through to the 160-cover restaurant space, which has a fire at its centre and floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking the 120-cover decked terrace.

Furniture, from BDP Contract Furniture, combines light wood tables with a mix of chairs, banquette and curved booth seating.

And the neutral taupe colour palette throughout has been enhanced with accents of turquoise and sea blue in the soft furnishings and objects; sea blue tongue and groove cladding, exposed brick and textured cream panels with a ‘wave’ design feature on the walls; and the bar frontage is covered in small taupe and cream tiles in a scales-like design.

The interior is further softened with an abundance of greenery throughout, including trees in the restaurant area; and mood lighting by North Star Electric which changes the ambience.

a restaurant interior showing tables of 4 with red lighting

And it’s not just front of house that was overhauled.

The kitchen was refurbished to the tune of £500,000, which saw it kitted out with state of the art equipment and a grill area visible to diners in the restaurant through a large window featuring the Cawley ‘wave’ logo.

Boat Yard is the latest in a number of recent projects for Cawley Hotels, which refurbished Duck Bay last year and is creating a training academy at its former House of Darrach outlet in Gartocharn.

And Alan said the company, which has 350 employees and is on-track to turnover £20m again this year, will continue to evolve.

“As a project [Boat Yard] grew arms and legs but I’m really pleased with it,” he said.

“Over the last five years we’ve invested heavily and tried to invest wisely. We’ve modernised our food offer and venues. And we’ve got a fantastic team.

“There’s lots going on; there’s always lots going on but it’s got to be like that.

“I’m still as passionate and enthusiastic about it.”