Port Seton Pub Set For £425,000 Re-vamp

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Work starts this week on a £425,000 refurbishment of The Wemyss Hotel in Port Seton by Heineken-owned Star Pubs & Bars and new operators, mother and daughter team Christine O’Brien and Sarah Couch. The project will transform the little-used, tired local into a quality family-friendly pub. With limited places for people to eat out in Port Seton or the immediate area, Christine and Sarah will cater for the needs of local residents and visitors to the village by introducing good food.

The pub will be renamed The Seaglass Inn to mark its change in direction. The development is scheduled to take eight weeks and The Seaglass is expected to open in mid-July, creating around 16 new jobs.

The investment will renovate and redecorate the outside of the building and add new signage, lighting and planting to enhance the look of Port Seton’s town centre. The pub’s garden will also receive a makeover with new furniture, decking and festoon lighting to make it an attractive spot for alfresco eating and drinking.

Christine promises that the pub will be “unrecognisable” after its revamp: “Everything is changing; the inside will be much more stylish, welcoming and comfortable.” The plans will also open up the two-room pub into a light airy space with a bar and a dining area, comfy sofas and booth seating and concertina doors opening onto the garden. A kitchen will be added and new toilets installed.

Christine and Sarah want to put the pub on the map for freshly prepared, locally sourced food. The menu will feature seafood dishes, pub favourites such as pies, pizzas and steaks, sharing options and regularly changing specials. The duo are putting in a barista-style coffee machine and, subject to licensing approval, will open at 9am for coffee and light bites during the week and for brunch at the weekends.

A great drinks selection is an equal priority for Christine and Sarah, who are looking to cater for all age groups and tastes. The Seaglass will have craft and cask beers on tap as well as cocktails, premium spirits and an excellent choice of wines.

Christine grew up in Prestonpans and runs The New Plough Inn with her father Thomas O’Brien (Tam) at Tranent. Says Christine: “I love this part of the of world, so it’s fantastic to have a second pub here. Having spoken to friends who live in Port Seton, they are crying out for a place they can eat out in the village and one that welcomes families. We want to bring a taste of Edinburgh to the village, so that people can enjoy good food and drink in lovely surroundings on their doorstep without the need to travel. We’re aiming to cater for the whole community and for all occasions, whether it’s a morning coffee, a pub lunch, a celebration dinner or evening drinks.”

Adds Christine: “I’ve run hospitality businesses with my parents and it’s exciting to carry on the family tradition and start a new venture with my daughter. Working with Sarah will also enable me to be front of house at both The New Plough and The Seaglass.”

Comments Brian Davidson, Star Pubs & Bars operations director for Scotland: “With so many new homes being built on the A1 corridor, there’s a shortage of great pubs that serve food. We’re delighted to be joining forces with Christine and Sarah to broaden the appeal of The Wemyss Hotel. We’ll be working flat out to get The Seaglass open so that people can use the new garden over the summer. We’re investing over £4 million in pubs around Scotland this year to help them move with the times and thrive for the long term.”