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Black Isle businessman steps in to save legendary Highland restaurant


By Calum MacLeod


Richard and Lorraine Comfort of Comfort Foods Church Street.Picture: Gary Anthony. Image No.
Richard and Lorraine Comfort of Comfort Foods Church Street.Picture: Gary Anthony. Image No.

A BLACK Isle-based businessman is saving a much-loved Highland eatery – just weeks after its doors closed.

News that the Castle Restaurant was set to close – again – was greeted with despair by generations of regulars brought up on its hearty, no-nonsense fare.

However, new owner Richard Comfort has promised to not only re-open the restaurant but to restore the familiar favourites to the menu which has kept generations of Highlanders well fed since the 1950s – with some newer additions to what is on offer.

"We're going to re-open it back to the way it used to be, doing the famous crinkle-cut chips and steak pie," Mr Comfort said.

"It's just going to be continuing the way it used to be, basically."

Castle RestaurantPicture: Alison White. Image No.
Castle RestaurantPicture: Alison White. Image No.

Helping him do that will be two chefs who together have some 45 years of experience at the Castle Restaurant.

"They went and got employment elsewhere, but they are coming back," he added.

Comfort and his wife Lorraine also own Comfort Foods café on nearby Church Street, and he plans to bring some of its influences to Castle Street.

"I'm planning to bring in more of the café side," he revealed.

"That's something they didn't do much of before, so we will have traybakes and cakes and get a bit more of the morning market. What we are doing at Comfort Foods is very successful, so we are taking on a place that is very similar. They did the same type of food we do. Not posh food, but hearty wholesome food."

Like many Highlanders, the Black Isle resident has find memories of the Castle Restaurant.

"I used to go there when I was younger," he said.

"You sometimes had to queue to get in. It was a shame to see it being closed."

The signage has now been restored to the building, and Mr Comfort plans to re-open on Thursday, September 26.

The restaurant was previously owned by brother and sister Katie and Ewen MacKinnon, who bought the restaurant in 2015, whose own connection with the restaurant dated back to when it first opened in 1957.



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