Calendar An icon of a desk calendar. Cancel An icon of a circle with a diagonal line across. Caret An icon of a block arrow pointing to the right. Email An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of the Facebook "f" mark. Google An icon of the Google "G" mark. Linked In An icon of the Linked In "in" mark. Logout An icon representing logout. Profile An icon that resembles human head and shoulders. Telephone An icon of a traditional telephone receiver. Tick An icon of a tick mark. Is Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes. Is Not Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes with a diagonal line through it. Pause Icon A two-lined pause icon for stopping interactions. Quote Mark A opening quote mark. Quote Mark A closing quote mark. Arrow An icon of an arrow. Folder An icon of a paper folder. Breaking An icon of an exclamation mark on a circular background. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Caret An icon of a caret arrow. Clock An icon of a clock face. Close An icon of the an X shape. Close Icon An icon used to represent where to interact to collapse or dismiss a component Comment An icon of a speech bubble. Comments An icon of a speech bubble, denoting user comments. Comments An icon of a speech bubble, denoting user comments. Ellipsis An icon of 3 horizontal dots. Envelope An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of a facebook f logo. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Home An icon of a house. Instagram An icon of the Instagram logo. LinkedIn An icon of the LinkedIn logo. Magnifying Glass An icon of a magnifying glass. Search Icon A magnifying glass icon that is used to represent the function of searching. Menu An icon of 3 horizontal lines. Hamburger Menu Icon An icon used to represent a collapsed menu. Next An icon of an arrow pointing to the right. Notice An explanation mark centred inside a circle. Previous An icon of an arrow pointing to the left. Rating An icon of a star. Tag An icon of a tag. Twitter An icon of the Twitter logo. Video Camera An icon of a video camera shape. Speech Bubble Icon A icon displaying a speech bubble WhatsApp An icon of the WhatsApp logo. Information An icon of an information logo. Plus A mathematical 'plus' symbol. Duration An icon indicating Time. Success Tick An icon of a green tick. Success Tick Timeout An icon of a greyed out success tick. Loading Spinner An icon of a loading spinner. Facebook Messenger An icon of the facebook messenger app logo. Facebook An icon of a facebook f logo. Facebook Messenger An icon of the Twitter app logo. LinkedIn An icon of the LinkedIn logo. WhatsApp Messenger An icon of the Whatsapp messenger app logo. Email An icon of an mail envelope. Copy link A decentered black square over a white square.

Ellon residents ‘miss Casa Salvatore’ and want food and drink scene to match Inverurie’s — but what are the suggested changes?

What are your thoughts on the suggestions made to improve Ellon's food and drink offering?

Mike Gaffney stretching out dough
Mike Gaffney. Image: Scott Baxter/DC Thomson

We all have a business that springs to mind when reminiscing about bygone bars, cafes and restaurants in the north-east.

For me, I’d say Formartine’s near Tarves and Aberdeen’s No.1 Bar & Grill are among the places I would love to stop by just one more time.

But it seems as though a lot of Ellon residents miss the same business terribly — former Italian restaurant, Casa Salvatore (Salvatore’s).

Ellon's Market Street car park
Ellon’s Market Street car park. Image: Scott Baxter/DC Thomson

I know this because I recently asked members of private Facebook group, Ellon Matters, what they liked and disliked about the town’s food and drink scene.

There were several mentions of a need for an Italian restaurant, and many recalled fond memories of Salvatore’s.

A trip down memory lane: Town locals express love for Salvatore’s and Meat Monsters

Salvatore’s, on Station Road, closed its doors permanently in November 2018. The owners (at the time) had run the business for 12 years.

Locals have been screaming for an Italian restaurant ever since — but now more than ever.

Colin Cruickshank — who owned Casa Salvatore, a food and drink business in Ellon — in 2017
Colin Cruickshank — who owned Casa Salvatore in Ellon — in 2017. Image: Chris Sumner/DC Thomson

This was the most popular suggestion on how they believe the town’s food and drink offering could be improved, this and the opening of a wine bar or quality bistro.

“I used to love Casa Salvatore, it had fabulous food and a cosy atmosphere,” wrote one respondent.

A range of burgers and sides from Meat Monsters
Meat Monsters was a well-loved restaurant in the town before its closure. Image: Kath Flannery/DC Thomson

Another said: “Ellon used to have a lovely one [Italian restaurant], Salvatore’s. He [the owner] used to sing at your table.”

A nod was also given to former barbecue restaurant Meat Monsters, which closed last summer.

Here’s what else Ellon food and drink fans oh-so desperately want (including a restaurant for The Gaff)…

Other suggestions included a Chinese or Thai restaurant, and owner of local pizza business The Gaff, Mike Gaffney, to consider opening a restaurant of his own.

Mike does have a premises in Ellon on Bridge Street, but it only offers delivery and takeaway.

There are also a number of Chinese and Thai takeaways in the town, including Yumi Asian Cuisine and Nosh Ellon. However, they too do not have the option to sit in.

Mike Gaffney and Jamie Thom with a pizza on the counter in front of them and a pizza oven behind them
Mike Gaffney, right, and Jamie Thom. Image: Scott Baxter/DC Thomson

“Something just for adults,” wrote a group member.

They continued: “Ellon is already really good at being inclusive for children, prams and dogs — somewhere with a bit of ambiance to relax away from the pitter patter of tiny feet, be it two or four legged!”

The New Inn Hotel, BrewDog DogTap, Symposium and The Tolbooth are among the dog-friendly venues in the area.

The Coffee Apothecary and Annie’s Tearoom have plenty of options on the cards for vegetarian and vegan customers. However, a café with a sole vegetarian and vegan offering is sought-after.

One person compared the plant-based options in Ellon to those in Inverurie, and many followed suit in other areas.

Is it wrong to want the same variety as Inverurie, which has chains like Greggs and Subway?

Their comment read: “Whilst Ellon already has plenty of cafes, more plant-based and vegetarian options are needed.

“Something like the No. 8 High Street or Dreamy Goat Coffee Co (both in Inverurie).”

A local added: “[It would] Be good if we could have a variety like Inverurie has…

“There’s so much ground up Balmacassie [for a] Greggs, Subway, or even the likes of a Home Bargains.

The Inverurie Greggs branch
The Inverurie Greggs branch is located on Market Place. Image: Kami Thomson/DC Thomson

“That way, folk of Ellon wouldn’t need to travel to Inverurie, Peterhead or Aberdeen.

If McDonald’s does get the go-ahead it’ll be interesting to see if others will follow suit to expand that area.”

Inverurie boasts a string of businesses serving Italian, Indian, Scottish and Chinese food, among other cuisines.

In response, another person wrote: “I have no interest in a Subway, McDonald’s or anything like that, it’s just not my cup of tea.

A dish from Inverurie's No. 8 High Street
A dish from Inverurie’s No. 8 High Street. Image: Chris Sumner/DC Thomson

“But certainly Thai or even a restaurant that mixes things up a bit. I just find the restaurants unexciting.”

Taking inspiration from Inverurie, it was suggested for Ellon to start hosting events (for example, a beer or music festival), using empty units for pop-up shops, attracting larger stores to open a base in the area, and launching a town app.

The Chocolate Bar director wants a late-night eatery, but says it may not be viable

Local chocolate shop and café The Chocolate Bar was highly praised by several group members on my post.

Run by Kira Rattray, from Ythanbank, I was keen to gather her thoughts on the Ellon food and drink scene too. After all, she lives and breathes it.

Her café in The Square welcomes 200 to 500 people per week.

“Ellon has a fantastic range of cafes, all bringing their own niche element,” says the 39-year-old.

Kira at her chocolate shop and café, voiced her opinions on the Ellon food and drink scene
Kira in 2018 at her chocolate shop and café. Image: Chris Sumner/DC Thomson

“We also have some fantastic pubs, and the occasional live music event is a treat.

“It would be nice if there were a few more evening eateries. However, I fully understand why there isn’t as we have tried early mornings, evenings and Sunday openings for years to no avail.

“People’s habits have really changed since reopening after lockdown. The rush times have never went back to as late as they used to be…”