The owner of the Beach Bar in Lossiemouth calls the time
The owner of the Beach Bar which was destroyed in a fire three years ago has confirmed that it will not be rebuilt.
Graham Fleming says the pandemic has shattered his hopes of reopening the once popular location of Lossiemouth.
Instead, with a heavy heart, the 49-year-old filed an urban planning application with Moray city council last week to allow the construction of three houses on the site.
Graham says, “The Beach Bar has played a huge role in my life.
“My parents bought it in 1987 and I started working there as a teenager, cleaning and bottling.
“It was also an important part of my social life.
“I loved meeting the regulars and chatting with all the visitors who had arrived here on vacation.
“It was a really special place and I missed it like hell.
“However, you have to be realistic.
“The Beach Bar was going high in 2018 and its trajectory was going up.
“It just shows that you never know what’s in store for us.
“The pandemic has devastated the hospitality industry.
“So many people are now borrowing money just to keep going – and there is still no specific time in sight when things will go back to how they used to be.
“Now is definitely not the time to reopen a bar.
“It wasn’t a decision I wanted to make, but with each passing month this sad fact has become more and more clear to me.”
Graham believes that, if a building permit is granted, the Beach Bar site will prove to be very popular with potential developers and home buyers.
He says, “We all saw the response when the board put the Prospect Terrace site up for sale.
“The Beach Bar is surrounded by a coastal protection zone.
“It means that no one can build to the left, to the right, in front of or behind you.”
As to what he will do next, Graham says he still doesn’t know, but expects it to be something to do with tourism.
He says: “Lossiemouth has so much to do.
“It has two great beaches. It has great golf courses, a sailing club and surfing.
“The city is very well placed.
“I’m sure there will be new opportunities to come, not just for me, but for a lot of people.”