The Cochrane Inn in Gatehead, Ayrshire, has just had a revamp. The Inn, owned by Bill Costley since 1997, didn’t close while it was being refurbished. Bill explains, “This has always been a popular destination, and when I decided to revamp it, we didn’t close we just did nightshifts.” The re-design has given the Inn a contemporary feel, while its ivy-covered exterior has been retained. The new look gives the a light and airy feel with oak furniture, bright paintings, brightly coloured upholstery, gleaming brass lamps and two living flame gas fires adding to the make-over.
Bill also revealed that he is reshaping his company ‘Costley & Costley’ and creating separate companies for his venues which include Lochgreen, Brig O’Doon, The Beresford, Soutars, The Cochrane and The Ellisland. He explains, “We will have three or four new companies and although there will be a generic reference to them all, all will have a different reach and individual websites, which will be linked to our retail side.” He is also planning to roll out his retail initiatives – the bakery, which provides all the bread and pastries to his venues, as well as increasing the reach of his Chocolatier and ice-cream initiatives.
That’s not all he is also in the process of revamping his other venues. Work is already underway at the Ellisland, and next on the agenda is Highgrove. Says Bill, “The last few years have made a lot of operators look at their businesses in a more forensic manner. We are no different. We have to try and keep standards up, while investing in our businesses. If you don’t constantly freshen things up you become stale.”