A stylish new bar and bistro has opened its doors in a north-east town.
Following significant investment and a complete overhaul of its interior, Duncano’s, based in the former Key West premises in Westhill Shopping Centre, was open to the public at 8am today.
Boasting sleek and classic decor, the new bar and bistro is anticipated to be a welcome addition to Westhill, which currently has “nothing quite like it already.”
Owner Lynne Duncan, who has a wealth of experience in marketing and recruitment, emphasised how important it was to make sure the local community had their say in what Duncano’s offered.
A beautiful environment
The bar and bistro has a capacity of 54, however, this figure can be increased for private functions and celebrations.
Lynne, 43, will be pushing these come the New Year aside from the everyday business.
The bar and bistro is open from 8am to 10pm Wednesday and Thursday, 8am to 11pm Friday and Saturday, and 8am to 7pm on Sundays.
These times will be open to review following the festive period depending on demand.
Lynne said: “The whole vibe of the space is somewhere you can come from 8am up until 10/11pm (depending on the day) and have a formal bite to eat and drink or a casual catch up with a coffee and a cake, all whilst being in a beautiful environment.
“Essentially, it’s a place where you can savour the moment.”
Lynne knew the premises, which is leased, was where she wanted to set up shop back in January and eventually received the keys in August.
It took around four months to transform the exterior and interior, something that required a “significant investment”.
“I’ve literally ripped this place to its bare bones and done a complete renovation,” she added.
“The space has been transformed and you wouldn’t believe it’s the same place.
“I’d describe it as classic, stylish, welcoming and warm. It has a lovely atmosphere.
“Things took longer than I anticipated. I originally planned to open in September, but I wanted to wait until everything was perfect.”
Giving the people what they want
Lynne, who resides in Westhill, released an anonymous survey online in August to ask the local community what food and drink they would like to see at Duncano’s.
Lynne said: “The survey said something new was coming to Westhill and asked what locals wanted to see in the area.
“It received over 2,000 responses in just four days and, going from what people responded with, I believe Duncano’s is just that.
“The people of Westhill spoke and I listened.
“There’s such a diverse market here. I’m expecting to attract people of all ages, from people looking for a fine piece and a scone to those wanting to tuck into a Saturday brunch with a bottle of rose.
“I need to cater to everyone, so I’ve thought really carefully about the menu.”
Homemade breakfasts, relaxed lunches, sharing platters and small plates all feature on the menu, including smoked salmon and scrambled eggs, a fish finger wrap, tempura calamari and classic mac and cheese, as well as a selection of sandwiches.
Dish prices vary from £3 to £13.95.
Duncano’s also offers a fully-stocked bar, cocktail menu and wine list.
A soft launch took place at the venue on December 8. Since then, Duncano’s has even welcomed tennis coach and mum of professional tennis players Jamie and Sir Andy Murray, Judy Murray.
Lynne received superb feedback, with some saying “it would rival places in the city”.
“This is amazing praise for me. The journey has involved blood, sweat and tears, but I’m so excited to see what the future holds.
“There may be some people that walk in expecting it to be how it was before, and they’ll be disappointed. But I’m not trying to attract the same clientele as the former business.”
The business owner has pulled together a team of 14, the majority of which are part-time.
She added: “12 members of the team are from Westhill, while the remaining two are from Inverurie.
“I’m trying to give local youngsters the opportunity to dip their toes into the industry. They’re so excited to be a part of it.”