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Change of helm for Nairn award-winning restaurant

By Federica Stefani

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The Sun Dancer in Nairn will change ownership next month. Picture: Callum Mackay.
The Sun Dancer in Nairn will change ownership next month. Picture: Callum Mackay.

One of Nairn’s most renowned restaurants has been bought by two Highland hospitality companies.

Highland Cru Hospitality and Cobbs group have teamed up to acquire the Sun Dancer Restaurant in Nairn from current owner Lee Jack, who has been at the helm for seven years.

The Sun Dancer will join six other bars and restaurants in the Cru Hospitality group – including The Classroom in Nairn and Scotch & Rye, the Whitehouse and Prime Steak and Seafood in Inverness.

Previous owner Lee Jack said: “After seven years in the Sun Dancer, I felt I wanted to concentrate on other things, and wanted to ensure that whoever took it on would share the same commitment to my team and quality of food and service. I am delighted to have concluded a deal with Cru and Cobbs, and I can’t think of a better team to take the Sundancer forward.”

Cru CEO, Scott Murray said: “When the opportunity presented itself to add The Sundancer to the Cru Hospitality family, we knew it was the right move. Its reputation for incredible service and delicious food aligns perfectly with everything we strive to achieve in our venues.

“The opportunity to work with a company like Cobbs is also an added benefit and we are excited to begin this new relationship with them.

“We’d like to reassure customers that from the moment we take over, it will be business as usual. All bookings will be honoured, and you’ll still receive the same high-quality service you’ve come to expect at The Sun Dancer.

Cobbs Group owns and operates 6 hotels including Loch Ness Clansman Hotel and Loch Ness Country House Hotel, as well as a bakery, cafes, and gift shops throughout Scotland.

Cobbs Group director, Arran McMaster said: “The Sun Dancer is a much-loved cafe and restaurant which has served its local community so well under the ownership of Lee and his family. Working in partnership with Cru, we will endeavour to maintain the community spirit and family values on which The Sundancer has built its reputation.”

According to the new owners, the move will secure the restaurant and over twenty jobs as the current owner looks to concentrate on other business interests.

Mr Murray added: “We’re proud to support the Highland hospitality industry and help popular venues like The Sundancer stay open for many years to come.

“We’re committed to ensuring the hospitality industry thrives in the region, by guaranteeing a high quality of service across all our venues and ensuring the industry is an attractive place to work by offering fair pay and generous benefits”

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