The new owner of an Inverness restaurant has pledged to donate over half of his takings on his opening night to aid cancer sufferers, in memory of the eaterie’s former owner.
Paul McBain, owner of McBain’s Catering, has made the promise to honour Leigh Mitchell, who died aged 29 after battling non-Hodgkin lymphoma.
Mr McBain said: “Out of respect of the former owner, I plan to donate 50% of the takings from our opening night to charity and in particular ward 5A, Oncology at Raigmore Hospital.
“I did not know him personally but we felt this was our way of paying tribute and doing our bit.”
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Leigh Mitchell lost his battle in August at his home near Conon Bridge.
Mr Mitchell, former co-owner of the Riverside Restaurant on Bank Street in Inverness city centre, helped to raise more than £3,000 amid his treatment for Macmillan Cancer Support and the oncology department at Raigmore Hospital, through a fundraising page and coffee morning.
He had chemotherapy before taking part in a pioneering trial treatment in London. He is survived by his wife Anna and daughter, Maria.
Currently, extensive renovation works are underway on the newly-acquired premises, with Mr McBain having plans to bring some members of staff with him from his current business venture at Fortrose and Rosemarkie Golf Club.
The restaurant is also set to be renamed McBains by the River, as Mr McBain and his wife Corinna get set to start afresh.
He added: “We are currently in the middle of refurbishment works which has really grown. When you start doing work you soon start to realise that more and more needs done, so we have decided to do the whole place while we are at it.
“We saw the opportunity to take over and couldn’t pass on that. I have always wanted to have my own restaurant and when this came up it seemed as if it was the perfect opportunity.
“We spoke about it and decided that it was for us. It is not too big and not too small and seemed just right.”
Among the staff who shall join Mr McBain at his new premise is trainee chef Hayley Bruce, who has worked with McBain Catering since leaving school, around three-and-a-half years ago.
The revamped and refurbished restaurant is set to open at the beginning of next month, with Mr McBain adding: “All going well, I am hoping to be open for the 8th of February.”