Habbies reopened on 1 October after a six-week refurbishment, making it one of two pubs in the village along with The Trust Inn. Both are owned by Campbell, who has lived in the West Renfrewshire village for most of his life.
He said, “I watched The Glenleven fall off the radar and told Punch Taverns I could make it a success if they were willing to invest. The original building has been traced back to 1872 and operated as a pub for most of that time, so I really wanted to preserve it.”
The complete refit includes a brand new wood bar top and gantry, toilets and professional kitchen. New windows have been installed and three diving walls have been removed to create more light and space. The exterior has been freshened up with new signage and lighting. Three en-suite B&B rooms have also be redecorated.
Campbell added, “The last real investment was in 1985 so it was in a pretty bad state. It needed a complete change of direction but its been sympathetically done. It’s been given a contemporary, modern feel while retaining its traditional characteristics and country feel.”
Habbies now serves a wide range of dishes including steaks, fajitas and enchiladas alongside homemade pub classics like steak pie and fish and chips. It is named after famous local bagpiper from the 1600s, Habbie Simpson, and is also the term used for people born in Kilbarchan.
Fraser added, “Everyone’s so pleased about the transformation, as no one wanted to see it close. We’ve had a fantastic reaction so far.”