Nick Nairn and his wife Julia are to open Nick’s on Henderson Street in Bridge of Allan, Stirlingshire, on 28 February.
The 75-cover “family-friendly” restaurant, with additional outdoor seating for 60, occupies the former site of Simon Littlejohn’s popular Jam Jar restaurant. It is situated among independent shops and cafés in the town’s main shopping street, a few miles north of Stirling.
Nairn is reported to be looking forward to getting back into the kitchen and taking a hands-on approach with his head chef Leon McIntrye, formerly of Edinburgh’s mezze, charcoal grill and cocktail bar Baba. Food and drink will be served throughout the day and the menu will feature “classic café and bistro dishes given a contemporary twist”.
Nairn said: “I was born and brought up just down the road from Bridge of Allan, so this is something of a homecoming for me and my family. This is the first time I’ve ever worked in partnership like this and already all the family are getting involved in shifts front of house. In short, it’s a family-run restaurant that will appeal to other families, with food that’s recognisable but cooked really well and given a contemporary twist.”
Breakfasts will include a range of house pancakes and lunch and dinner menus will feature Buddha bowls and sandwiches ranging from classics to Nairn’s original cure smoked Scottish salmon. A selection of Roma-style pizzas made from three-day-aged dough with toppings such as Great Glen venison salami and Campbells haggis will also be available, as will a range of gourmet hot dogs and burgers made from traditional cuts such as chuck and brisket from slow-grown, traditional cattle breeds.
Celebrated chef, food consultant and broadcaster Nairn has been a familiar face on British screens for four decades and was a regular contestant on the BBC’s Ready Steady Cook in the 1990s. He and Julia, who married in February 2019, run the Nick Nairn Cook School, which he founded in 2000 on the shores of nearby Lake of Menteith, with the aim of “giving people the skills necessary to be able to turn great raw ingredients into great food”.
He became the youngest Scottish chef to win a Michelin star with his first restaurant Braeval, which he opened in 1988 near Aberfoyle with his first wife, Fiona. He went on to open his second restaurant, Nairns, in Glasgow in 1991, which he sold to concentrate on his cookery school. Nick’s on Henderson Street is the couple’s first restaurant together; they also run the Kailyard by Nick Nairn restaurant at the Doubletree Hilton in Dunblane.