Regulars show support for Craws

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For some it is a dream to have your own pub, but for a group in Carnoustie it was the only way to keep their local open.

Recently the Craws Nest bar and lounge had experienced trading difficulties forcing owner George Irvine to announce he was considering closing the doors.

In response, a consortium of four regulars stepped forward to keep the Craws open and to run it as a not-for-profit pub and build on its role as a social hub.

An unusual move, but one that the consortium feel has the best chance of keeping their beloved local open.

Mike Bell, one of the new backers, explained: “Like all local pubs the Craws has been faced with difficult trading conditions for the last couple of years. George was faced with closing and once he announced it a group of four regulars got together to create a consortium to keep the pub open and keep George on as manager, as well as the others in jobs, but also to keep the place open for the community. From the consortium’s position the pub will be run as a not-for-profit enterprise with any money made will be plowed back into the pub.

“We thought between the four of of us it would be some extra help for George, and an opportunity to try to engage with the community more as we’ve got a lot of people living in this area.”

George, who has run the Craws for the last 10 years, said: “We’ve had a positive response already, I think once people realised what they were going to lose they’ve rallied round and it’s already starting to pick up.

“It was quite an emotional time for me after 10 years here. I did feel for the community, not so much that I was letting them down, but that it was the end of an era. It was a real shame. There were a lot of people upset and that’s why we’ve had this response from the four guys which I really appreciate.”

Purpose built in the 1970s as part of the nearby housing developments the Craws Nest has been at the centre of the social scene in the town’s west end for the last 40 years, playing host to dominoes, darts, pool and football teams, a popular golf outing and various charity events. The Craws is also the current holder of the Best Bar None Award for Community Engagement in Angus.