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Owner of award-winning Nairn restaurant Sun Dancer appoints familiar face as general manager

By Donald Wilson

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Ed Carlton at the Sun Dancer restaurant.
Ed Carlton at the Sun Dancer restaurant.

THE owner of Nairn’s award-winning Sun Dancer restaurant has taken on a former school friend to look after its day-to-day running.

Lee Jack first opened the beach front restaurant in 2016 and has now appointed Ed Carlton as general manager, with a new outdoor area which opened to the public this week.

Mr Jack said: “I am delighted to be working with Ed, who has a wealth of experience in hospitality.

“He has worked tirelessly with the team to get our new outdoor area and menu ready for opening.

“I have always wanted to expand the Sun Dancer offering to the outside and with Covid and some of the restrictions we still face there is not a better time to push forward these plans.”

He added: “I am still very much part of the Sun Dancer, but with the outdoor area and that having its own menu, the café and, of course, the restaurant, we needed to expand the management team.”

Mr Carlton and Mr Lee, both 32, attended Rosebank Primary School together and have remained firm friends in the years since.

Mr Carlton has worked his way through the ranks at both the Pizza Hut and Pizza Express chains but had been planning to enjoy 18 months of travelling before Covid restrictions brought him back to Nairn.

“It has been a happy accident,” he admitted. “I never really appreciated Nairn when I was younger, but being back I realise just how fantastic it is.

“Lee and I have been mates since primary school and we just got chatting one night when I returned to Nairn.

“We always end up talking about business and Lee was talking about his plans for the restaurant.

“He has a great team and I am enjoying working with them all.

“Ryan Main, who is possibly one of the most well-known members of staff, has been here from the start so working with him directly is going to be key to the success of the restaurant and how I can help and be involved.

“He has a wealth of knowledge not only about the Sun Dancer but also the town and its people.”

He added: “I am really excited to be helping Lee bring the Sun Dancer to the next level.

“He has loads of great ideas and I hope that he will now be able to put some of them into action.

“Creating more capacity outside means more management.

“The menu is in keeping with the Sun Dancer but is different to what will be offered in the restaurant when we reopen indoors on May 18.

“All hospitality businesses have taken a huge hit over the last year, but the Sun Dancer has great foundations and I am pleased to be joining the team at a really exciting time.”

Related news: Success on the menu for chefs in Nairn

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