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12 Fife restaurants and cafes that opened during the pandemic

Julie Dalton owner of The Adamson and Hatch, St Andrews.
Julie Dalton owner of The Adamson and Hatch, St Andrews.

Despite the restrictions and rules around hospitality, the pandemic has also created opportunities for entrepreneurs to try their hand at a new trade and follow their dreams.

While some restaurants and cafes in Fife have adapted and battered on offering takeaway services, new restaurateurs have managed to establish their new learned skills in lockdown and have provided employment for their local communities.

This listicle outlines those venues that opened in Fife throughout the pandemic and who provided us with new options to try during lockdown.

Smoked Thistle – St Andrews

Hospitality firm The Smoked Thistle launched their first sit-in diner experience serving up their most popular dishes to locals in St Andrews.

After the success of their first takeaway venue on Balunie Drive in Dundee and their second venue at Craigtoun Meadows Holiday Park, the duo behind The Smoked Thistle expanded their business further.

The venue serves up smoked meat dishes the firm is well-known for including ribs, brisket and pulled pork.

Address: Stewart’s Resort, Cameron, St Andrews, KY16 8PE

Lupo’s – St Andrews

Owner Alex Kirkbride wanted to launch a new dining concept that was a “love letter to Italy” with his new venue Lupo’s.

Equipped with four Italian chefs and a Scottish and Italian head chef, the venue has proven popular with locals and tourists alike.

Taking on the project before the second lockdown in December 2020, Alex and his team transformed the former St Andrews Brewing Company premises into the popular eatery.

Address:119 North Street, St Andrews, KY16 9AD

Hatch – St Andrews

The team behind The Adamson restaurant in St Andrews launched another restaurant, Hatch, which sits right next door to their South Street offering.

The 35-seater restaurant was named after owner Julie Dalton’s son’s, Harrison and Charlie, with Julie ensuring the restaurant offers creative and bespoke cocktails, adding to the overall theme of the restaurant.

Long lunches, romantic dinner dates and private dining with a small outdoor space are all available at the restaurant.

Address:129 South Street, St Andrews, KY16 9UH

18 at Rusacks – St Andrews

Based at Pilmour Links, the 120-room hotel launched its new rooftop restaurant and bar, 18, The Bridge and One Under Bar as part of its offering.

The restaurant is dedicated to Scottish cuisine and boasts of a rooftop bar that overlooks the 18th green at the iconic Old Course, West Sands and the North Sea.

A surprise for guests is the outdoor putting green also located on the rooftop.

Address: Rusacks, Pilmour Links, St Andrews, KY16 9JQ

Haar restaurant and rooms – St Andrews

Top Arbroath-born chef Dean Banks took on the challenge to bring his beloved restaurant Haar back to St Andrews after it closed back in April 2021.

While the offering is similar to Haar’s previous fare, Dean has made the experience more interactive for guests with his chef’s table, which ensures everyone feels special when visiting.

The eatery also offers a range of cocktails for customers to try and the back bar is made up of Scottish spirits.

Address: 1 Golf Place, St Andrews, KY16 9JA

Dram and Haddock – St Andrews

Taking over the fryers at what used to be Haarbour in St Andrews, the Dram and Haddock opened its doors to local fish and chip fanatics on Alexandra Place.

Since opening its doors, owner Fraser Ogston has been delighted with how popular it has been among local food fans, who have the option to sit-in or take away their meal.

Fraser notes that high-quality fish and chips is not easy to pull off, but with a team behind the fryers boasting 10 to 15 years experience, these fish and chips are worth a try.

Address: 3 Alexandra Place, St Andrews, KY16 9XD

Rae’s – Montrose, Angus

Owners Helen and Wouter Margaroli welcome diners to their first restaurant Rae’s, which serves local and seasonal produce inspired by modern European cuisine.

The premises was given a fresh, modern makeover and can sit 40, with space for outdoor seating with the summer arriving.

Helen explains: “Rae’s is about flavour. We believe that good flavours come from all over the world, so we’re not following any cuisine.”

Address: 79 High Street, Montrose, DD10 8QY

Angus Grill and Larder – Brechin, Angus

Angus Grill and Larder offers a range of delicious dishes and serves everything from breakfast to lunch, with early dinner options also available to tuck into.

The menu includes a range of burgers, five different hot dogs, grilled sandwiches, salads, a variety of sides, milkshakes, ice cream floats made with cola, lemonade or cream soda, plus New York-style cheesecakes.

The aim is for all of the dishes to be freshly made, feature local products, and be of a high quality.

Address: Balnabriech, Brechin, DD9 6RN

Estuary Restaurant – Leven Beach

The Estuary Restaurant at Leven Beach Holiday Park opened in May after a £110K investment.

The 120-seater restaurant mirrors what is offered at Horizons, the bar and restaurant at The Bay Hotel. It is open seven days a week and is family-friendly, with the option for customers to takeaway also.

Owner Tommy Wallace commented: “Leven Beach has the most amazing views. We wanted a new restaurant that does justice to the location.”

Address: North Promenade, Leven, KY8 4HY

Los Buenos Amigos – Glenrothes

After her success in Kirkcaldy with her Spanish street food takeaway shop, and its spin-off travelling kitchen The Wee Tapas Box, owner Alicia Aparicio opened the doors to her very first restaurant.

Taking over the kitchen at Glenrothes Golf Club in September 2021, Alicia offers a mix of her Spanish classics and new Scottish favourites on the menu.

She decided to add the fusion of Scottish cuisine into the mix, nodding to her husband’s homeland, and ensuring there is something for everyone to try.

Address: Golf Course Road, Glenrothes, KY6 2LA

Glenturret Lalique – Crieff

The Glenturret, Scotland’s oldest working distillery, opened its spectacular new fine dining experience, The Glenturret Lalique Restaurant, in July 2021.

The aim of the restaurant is to provide world-class gastronomy and hospitality at the venue in the idyllic Perthshire countryside.

Diners are taken on a culinary journey and introduced to a unique and playful combination of flavours, reflected in Michelin star chef Mark’s global experience.

Address: Glenturret Distillery, The, Hosh, Crieff, PH7 4HA

The Blairgowrie Golf Club – Blairgowrie

Last but certainly not least, Scottish chef Steven Gilroy teed off a new role at the Blairgowrie Golf Club.

Revamping the menu, Steve and his team offer a range of options including pastas and a salad bar with Dunkeld smoked salmon and grilled chicken.

“We are looking to modernise the menu with an emphasis on local produce, but rest assured traditional golfers’ fare like good quality bacon rolls certainly won’t be disappearing,” explained Steven.

Address: Golf Course Rd, Blairgowrie, PH10 6LG