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Food and Drink

8 hospitality closures of 2023 in the Highlands – including The Filling Station in Inverness

Let's take a look back at some of the businesses we lost in the past year in the Highlands of Scotland. reports.
Karla Sinclair
Inside Inverness' former Filling Station. Image: Supplied by Savills
Inside Inverness' former Filling Station. Image: Supplied by Savills

The food and drink scenes in a number of Highland locations suffered blows in 2023.

A refill store, cake shop and several cafes and restaurants were forced to close their doors, resulting in both locals and tourists leaving words of support and best wishes for the former teams.

I want us to look back at some of the businesses we lost in the past year. Let us know of the closures that affected you the most in the comments section.

SoBar

SoBar on Inverness’ Castle Street closed unexpectedly in April.

The space was particularly popular with large groups and parties, and was a staple for an Inverness night out being close to other bars and clubs.

It boasted five snooker tables, five American pool tables and eight UK pool tables upstairs.

SoBar, one of the hospitality businesses that have closed this year
SoBar closed suddenly in the spring. Image: Sandy McCook/DC Thomson

Bossards Patisserie

One of the West Highlands’ favourite cake shops closed for good too a few months later.

Bossards Patisserie, in Oban, was run by couple Heinz and Sylvia Bossard and their son Michael.

Heinz and Sylvia took to social media to announce that they were retiring in June.

Hundreds of people wished them well and thanked all the staff for the warm welcomes they always received.

A scone and tea at Bossards Patisserie.
A scone (enjoyed by The Sunday Post’s Scone Spy) at Bossards Patisserie.

Ness Refill

Invernesians also bid farewell to Ness Refill – just four months after the refill shop opened its doors.

Ness Refill was created by Evelyn Elder, to reduce waste packaging and encourage customers to use their own containers while shopping.

Evelyn Elder and her team at Ness Refill
Evelyn Elder (centre) with her team during the grand opening of Ness Refill back in March. Image: Sandy McCook/DC Thomson

Chit Chat

Also in July, Chit Chat café and deli closed with immediate effect unexpectedly.

Located on Culcabock Road in the Drakies area of the city, it offered a wide variety of coffee, milkshakes, sweet treats and food.

In a statement on social media, Claire Shewan – who ran the family business – wrote: “It is with a very heavy heart that Chit Chat deli will be closed with immediate effect until further notice.”

Chit Chat, one of the hospitality closures in the highlands
Chit Chat was a popular café and deli in Inverness. Image: Google Maps

The Culloden Moor Inn

Owners of The Culloden Moor Inn thanked customers for the last 18 years of business back in August, as they announced their closure.

The inn was based near the Culloden Battlefield and welcomed thousands of visitors over the years.

Culloden Moor Inn, one of the hospitality closures in the highlands from this years
Culloden Moor Inn has been missed by customers. Image: Duncan Macpherson

Am Bothan

Another blow for foodies in the Highlands came that same month as it was revealed that Am Bothan was shutting.

Known for its tasty cakes and bakes, owners David and Anne Marie McLeod had run the space since 2021.

However, it has since been taken over by Alison MacKintosh and is now known as Sùgh Ùr. Expect juices and smoothies, as well as a range of breakfast, brunch and lunch dishes.

Am Bothan cafe owners in Inverness
Anne Marie and David McLeod opened Am Bothan in 2021. Image: Sandy McCook/DC Thomson.

The Filling Station

Moving into October, popular American-style diner The Filling Station closed too, leaving customers devastated.

The restaurant was owned by Restaurant Group PLC, which has locations across the country including Inverness, Braehead, Edinburgh, and Stirling.

Outside The Filling Station in Inverness.
Outside The Filling Station in Inverness. Image: Google Maps

Go Naked Veg

And last but certainly not least, we wished the team at Go Naked Veg all the best with their future endeavors.

The plastic-free Oban shop, which sold organic produce and sustainable products, shut in October due to low footfall.

Go Naked Veg on Stevenson Street in Oban
Go Naked Veg in Oban also closed. Image: Louise Glen/DC Thomson.

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