The Seafood Bothy has returned to the pier in Stonehaven after being forced to close earlier this week.
The popular seafood trader was moved by Aberdeenshire Council due to works being carried out in the harbour area.
However, owner Maria Lewis received a call on Thursday morning informing her that she would no longer be able to operate from the new spot in the Shorehead area due to licencing issues.
Mrs Lewis said the council and contractors had since “gone out their way” to help her get back to business, and today she returned to the same pier where she has traded for the past four years.
“It was a really busy day,” she said. “I think we served over 300 meals today. We had old and new customers, with lovely feedback from everyone. Even councillors and the police came over to make sure I was ok.
“I’m putting everything behind me and cracking on. I’m in a position where I’ve got all the support I need. If we can settle and stay in place here, it will all be ok.”
‘Everyone has been more than helpful’
Even though it was the council who enforced the move and chose the new location, Mrs Lewis was told just this week that she would have to close and reapply for a new licence to trade – which could take between three to six months to complete.
It is understood road safety concerns had been raised about the new spot due to the risks of customers queuing on the street.
The Seafood Bothy owner was worried she would have to close for the rest of the season and put her 10 employees out of work, but in the end she only had to stop trading for two days.
“The council couldn’t have been more helpful,” she said. “We can’t put any tables and chairs out at this spot, but we can still serve customers. I’m happy with the compromise.
“We have had great support and coming back bigger and busier. The minority that didn’t want it to happen have made us stronger.”
Customers will find the Seafood Bothy on the pier at Stonehaven near the Backies car park. It will be open between 11am and 5pm from Thursday to Sunday until October.
The team will continue to serve the freshest produce, caught daily by Mrs Lewis’s fisherman husband, including seafood platters and wraps, as well as a range of hot options.