Falkirk bar High Spirits relaunching under new owners

From left: Suzie Culbert, High Spirits supervisor; Garry Knight, business partner; Jordan Knight, general manager; Elaine Knight, business partner; and Ross Stevenson, assistant manager. Picture: Michael Gillen
From left: Suzie Culbert, High Spirits supervisor; Garry Knight, business partner; Jordan Knight, general manager; Elaine Knight, business partner; and Ross Stevenson, assistant manager. Picture: Michael Gillen

A Falkirk bar is re-opening tonight after changing hands.

High Spirits has been bought over by Knightway Inns Ltd from Highlands bar and restaurant operator Cru Holdings Ltd.

The Knight family, of Reddingbank, near Polmont, were delighted to get a deal agreed and have promised customers a menu filled with more familiar brand names, as well as discount offers and £5.50 cocktails.

The new management team, made up of Elaine Knight, her son Jordan and husband Garry, was chosen to oversee the running of the pub due to their local knowledge.

New general manager Jordan (21) has worked at the Vicar Street bar since it launched last September, winning Cru Holdings’ Employee of the Year award during that time.

Dad and head of security Garry (55) also has experience of the pub industry in Falkirk district, having previously owned former Grangemouth venues JT’s and Rendezvous, as well as the Carronshore Bar.

The chance to continue building on High Spirits’ reputation was too good for the Knights to turn down.

Though slight changes to pricing and discounts will come into effect, the family don’t want to shake up too many of the good practices which have enabled the cocktail bar to make its name.

Fortunately, that process will be made smoother due to a majority of staff having been retained under TUPE.

Elaine (44), who will act as the banker and book keeper, says her family can’t wait to open the pub’s doors at 6pm tonight.

She said: “We’re looking forward to welcoming existing and new customers.

“We want to reassure customers we’re not changing a lot. It’s just a few tweaks.

“We’re delighted to say most of the existing team has decided to stay with us.

“I think the thing that makes a difference here is table service even for drinks.

“We will operate the same way but we’ll change the draft beers.

“Seventy-five per cent of customers ordering lager asked for Tennents which they didn’t used to have so we’re going back to listening to customer feedback.

“There were 45 cocktails on the menu before and only about 25 were sold.

“If people like it, they talk about it, so we’ve got to continue that and make the customers come back and become regulars.”

While the kitchen will stay closed on the re-opening night, the Knights are hoping to be able to serve up meals as of next week.

Jordan added: “The prices have changed and we’ve changed all the products customers were wanting changed.

“There’s more house selection because that’s what we didn’t have very much of before.

“There’ll be student and emergency service discounts and a Salon Sunday for all the salons in Falkirk, under the Mates Rates scheme.”