A pub is often said to be at the heart of its community and the new owners of a hostelry in Blackness are determined that will be the case.
Sheena and Colin O’Rourke are busy making final preparations to open the former Blackness Inn next month.
They’ve given it a new name – The Lobster Pot – and it will not only be serving up pints and shorts but milk, bread, teas and coffees.
For the couple, who originally hail from Ireland, are determined that it will give the community a range of services.
Speaking this week as the work continued around her, Sheena explained: “It’s going to be a pub and corner shop, as well as offering snacks and meals.
“Our plan is you can come in and go into one corner to pick up any milk, bread or other necessities then come up to the bar to make your purchase and if you want to order a pint or a coffee at the same time then we’ll be delighted to serve you.
“There will also be a soft serve ice cream machine and we’ll be offering cream teas, lunches and evening meals.”
The couple, who say they ran pubs in England “in a previous existence”, are looking forward to the challenge, although it was one they initially turned down.
“We moved to Blackness five years ago after we found a fabulous house which had amazing views, a wonderful garden and was just everything we wished for,” said Sheena.
“The pub had only been open for a few hours a day latterly and the whole village missed having somewhere to go. When it was available a few years ago we said no, but this time we decided to go for it.”
The property had been due to go to auction in February but the couple’s interest saw them become owners on Valentine’s Day – and it’s been a labour of love ever since to get all the paperwork in place, training carried out and refurbishment work completed.
“We’re hopeful that our customers will not just be villagers but people who are using the John Muir Way, whether walkers or cyclists, as well as all those visiting Blackness Castle.
“We’ll be child and dog friendly – as long as they are well behaved – and look forward to welcoming everyone in.”