Dunfermline Press

West Fife couple ‘can’t wait’ to re-open iconic Dunfermlin­e pub

The Haberdashe­ry Bistro to open in time for festive season

- By Ally McRoberts Reporter amcroberts@dunfermlin­epress.co.uk

WHEN the chance came to re-open an iconic pub and launch their first business together, a West Fife couple couldn’t hit the road fast enough.

Formerly the Watering Hole, the Haberdashe­ry Bistro on New Row will be taking orders from Monday, December 11, under the new management of Kris Boniface and Chloe Wright.

Kris, 40, is the chef and he explained: “Basically we were working down in the Lake District and heard it was up for lease from the people that run the Canmore.

“We just thought ‘Let’s give it a bash’.

“It’s going to be a lot more food than before, even from when it was the Watering Hole, but it’s obviously a bar too.

“We’re opening in the festive season so we’ll have a Christmas offering and traditiona­l pub meals.

“We’ll see what the people of Dunfermlin­e want, we’ll give it to them and hopefully start surprising people.”

The couple stay in Cairneyhil­l

and while Kris handles the heat in the kitchen, Chloe will be front of house.

He added: “We actually met when we were both working at the Canmore.

“We started planning on doing our own thing and were waiting for the right opportunit­y to come up.

“We felt this was the right time and right place.”

Time was called on the Watering Hole in 2016 and it lay empty for five years until it re-opened as the Haberdashe­ry Bar in 2021.

However, amid the hangover from the pandemic and soaring prices and inflation, it closed in July of last year.

Although it’s under new management,

Chloe, 25, said they wanted to keep the old name and she’s been busy with a lovely window display, with dressed mannequins facing out onto New Row.

She added: “We wanted to keep it as the Haberdashe­ry as we love that theme and it keeps it creative for us, there are so many things we can play with.

“We want to make it a comfortabl­e, cosy, family-run and friendly place with nice cocktails and nice food.”

All the nooks and crannies, the booths in the window and alcoves that made the Watering Hole so unique have been restored and readied for use.

Kris said: “The previous owners didn’t use the front door, access was all from the side door, but it’s opening onto the main street so it made sense to us.

“From the main entrance up to the bar you’ve got all these different little rooms and spaces, it gives it a different dimension.

“It’s quirky, totally different from anywhere else in Dunfermlin­e,

and lends itself to different parties.

“There’s one room for six-toeight people that can be closed off, there’s another room and the bar area, we’ve got that great beer garden and in the future the function room through the back could seat about 50 people.

“So it’s a bit of everything. You can get a private dining area or just come in for a drink. We’re a dog-friendly pub too.”

While the hospitalit­y industry is still facing tough times, his glass is half full.

Kris reasoned: “If you lie down and let it beat you then it will beat you.

“If every catering place shuts there’ll be nothing left so we’re going to push on and open up.

“It will be good, home-made quality meals at the best possible price and a good bar too.

“I’m sure we’ll be successful.”

Preparatio­ns for the bistro’s opening are in full swing, menus have been published and bookings are being taken - they’re already fully booked for Christmas Day!

Chloe said: “It’s been a lot of hard work but it’s nice to step back and see it becoming a pub again.

“A lot of the people we’ve spoken to are really excited about it re-opening, especially as there’s not much at this end of the city, so we want to make it a local again.

“It’s a big step but an exciting one. We can’t wait.”

“We’ll see what the people of Dunfermlin­e want, we’ll give it to them and hopefully start surprising people.”

To book, call 0743505754­7 or pop in to the bistro.

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