A pub in East Lothian has been relaunched after undergoing a six-figure refurbishment, creating 16 jobs - part of an ongoing overhaul of Star Pubs & Bars sites north of the Border.
A total of £425,000 has been invested in The Seaglass Inn in Port Seton – formerly The Wemyss Hotel – which has been revamped by Heineken-owned Star Pubs & Bars and its new licensees – mother-and-daughter team Christine O’Brien and Sarah Couch.
The overhaul is billed as turning the former "little-used, tired" local into a quality, family-friendly pub - given a "stylish, contemporary" look, creating an outdoor area, adding BT and Sky Sports, and installing a kitchen. A new drinks selection ranging from barista coffee to craft beer and cocktails has been introduced, as well as freshly prepared food. Ingredients are locally sourced, and dishes include home-made steak pie and pan-fried sea bass with salsa.
O’Brien – who grew up in Prestonpans and also runs The New Plough Inn at Tranent – said: “The pub looks beautiful, and [customers] can’t believe the transformation. They love the new design and ambience and having a family-friendly pub that caters for all in Port Seton.
"We’re seeing a real mix of ages and people who never visited the pub before: groups of ladies for prosecco; guys watching the football and families enjoying a meal out. The community has backed us right from the early planning stages, and we’re very grateful for their support.”
East Lothian MP Martin Whitfield and MSP Iain Gray visited the site, with Whitfield stating: “It’s great to see such major investment in an East Lothian pub and new jobs created. The Seaglass Inn is a welcome addition to the area for local residents and another attraction for visitors to the county’s coast.”
Gray said: “Good pubs play an important social role as hubs for the communities they serve. With so many people moving into this part of East Lothian, it’s good news to see a local pub given a new lease of life.”
Also commenting was Star Pubs & Bars area manager Jeremy Williams, who said The Seaglass Inn has had a good reception "and is proving a popular meeting place for the whole community and those from further afield". He added: "Christine and Sarah are passionate about giving Port Seton a pub it can be proud of, and we wish them every success.”
The pub’s refurbishment is part of Star Pubs & Bars’ £4 million investment programme for Scotland’s pubs in 2019.