Photo of
March 19, 2014
[Souter's Inn is back in business. Copyrighted Image by Guy Hinks.][1]
Souter’s Inn is back in business. Copyrighted Image by [Guy Hinks][2].

The 5pm Dining blog is always delighted to see businesses overcome their difficulties. And, as troubles go, being devastated by fire is a fairly major difficulty.

Fortunately, two years after fire swept through the premises, Souter’s Inn at Kirkoswald, near Turnberry in the heart of Burns Country, has risen from the ashes and reopened to the public.

Drouthy cronies

Built on the site of the former schoolhouse attended by Robert Burns, the popular inn is adjacent to the old graveyard where the world famous drouthy cronies, Tam O’ Shanter and Souter Johnnie, are buried.

After the fire, Bill Costley of Costley & Costley Hoteliers’ and the owner of Souter’s Inn pledged to fully restore the premises to their former glory.

While the resurrected Souter’s Inn has retained its traditional thatched exterior, inside, the former traditional pub has been given a distinctly contemporary feel, with exposed brickwork and oak featuring throughout.

[Clerk's Bar food][6]
The smoker seldom gets a chance to cool down at the new Clerk’s Bar.

Smoke ‘em if you got ‘em

On the other side of the country, Clerk’s Bar opened last week in the old Dragon’s Way premises in Edinburgh’s Newington.

A Maclay Inns venture, it is selling its main attractions as a ‘slow smoked menu, craft beer and sport’.

It’s a tried and tested combo which seems unlikely to fail around these parts.

Naturally, the food menu groans with burgers and dogs and burritos and wings and other dude food.

The bit that really caught or eye was the selection of dishes which are cooked over the kitchen’s seasoned woodchips for up to twelve hours.

A half rack of ribs and a half smoked chicken? Yes, please.