Just last month, in October 2019, the owners of St Andrews’ Rocca Deli, Brett Lawrence and Gillian McLaren, announced that they purchased the Golf Inn. Rocca is an Italian deli and café, located at 33 Bell Street in St Andrews, which serves paninis, salads, bistro style food, coffees, and desserts. Rocca’s owners pride themselves in their authentic meats and cheeses imported from Italy, as well as their homemade ciabatta rolls. Last January’s addition of a seating area allows customers the option to either have their food and drinks for take away or to dine in. Although Rocca has always been popular among St Andrews students who find the prices fair, the food delicious, and the owners very friendly, the seating area expanded the clientele base to also include locals and tourists. In light of their great success with Rocca, Lawrence and McLaren bought the Golf Inn about five weeks ago with the intention of transforming the pub area into one unlike all the many others in St Andrews. They plan to turn the Golf Inn into a boutique pub with unique style and charms.
Lawrence and McLaren have already started to share some of their visions for the pub. One of their ideas is to host special evening events such as stand-up comedy and live music performances. They are also planning cocktail nights with unique drinks such as a make-your-own espresso martini and gin and tonics in tea pots. McLaren also spoke about redecorating the Inn’s bedrooms and pub area.
There is currently a balcony on the second floor which gets little use in the colder months, but by adding heaters and rain covers, as the owners may do, this could change. Not only would it allow for more seating area, but it would also contribute to the pub’s idiosyncratic nature. The boutique pub holds potential to attract students for the price of its pints alone, which might be as low as £3. The owners also plan to implement an option for booking event meals, which could turn the Golf Inn into a new staple for St Andrews student society dinners.
Another distinctive feature of the pub is its new menu. The new menu offers high quality food by chef Rory MacCrimmon, who has worked in several Michelin recommended restaurants. This is another feature which will set the pub apart from others in town. On Tuesday, I went to the Golf Inn for lunch to sample the new food. I ordered a falafel sandwich with roasted peppers which came with lettuce, tomato, and mayonnaise in between three layers of white toasted bread. Included in the price of the meal was a side of chips. It cost £12.95 pounds for the sandwich, a fair price considering the high quality and large portion.
These new plans for the Golf Inn promise a unique spot for entertainment, drinks and dining. Lawrence and McLaren are optimistic about their new business’ future success in large because of the strong customer base that they have accumulated through Rocca. Should the owners follow through with their innovative ideas, the boutique pub holds a promising future.