Restaurateur Will Smith, founder of Michelin-starred establishments Arbutus and Wild Honey, has opened Sugar Boat, a contemporary local bistro, bar and wine shop in Helensburgh, Scotland.
Smith and co-founder Anthony Demetre closed Arbutus last year with Smith announcing his departure. Smith sold his restaurant interests in London and returned to Helensburgh, the town where he lived when he managed the Georgian Room at Cameron House in the mid-1990s.
Sugar Boat's renovation has been overseen by Glasgow interior design firm Surface ID, and the interiors now combine bare brick, brass finishes, wood-panelled walls and leather banquettes. Sugar Boat also offers seating on the square and a courtyard terrace.
Head chef, Alexandria-born Scott Smith, who formerly worked at Wild Honey and Arbutus as well as Odette's, has created with Smith a regularly changing menu that reflects their commitment to seasonal, local ingredients.
The bar offers draught beers from Glasgow's West Brewery and Stirling's Fallen Brewing Company, alongside bottled craft beers, wine, fine spirits and malts, more than 25 Scottish gins and cocktails. The wine shop offers a stock of more than 100 old and new world wines.
Smith said the business had been "busy" with "lots of local support" one week after opening, and he also hopes to bring custom to the town up from Glasgow. He emphasised the move was "in no way a partial retirement", saying he wanted to grow and develop the business. "There are some great opportunities for business… I want to look at other opportunities in the area," he added.
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