A FORMER town centre pub which has lain empty for a number of years has reopened as a restaurant and coffee shop.
Charles Masraff and Linda Fergusson who opened and ran the Simply Scottish restaurant and coffee shop in Jedburgh for many years have returned to the Borders after five years in Armenia and have opened the doors of The Place on the town’s High Street.
Charles, who was born in London though his mother came from Yorkshire and his father was of Armenian descent, is a self-taught chef with many years experience of the hospitality industry in the Borders. He owned and ran the Crook Inn in its heyday for a number of years gaining many food awards – including an entry in the Good Food Guide.
After a few years in Edinburgh he returned to the Borders to set-up and run Simply Scottish with Linda Fergusson who spent her childhood on a farm near the Grey Mare’s Tail and whose sister, Sheila, is married to a former Selkirk standard bearer.
Simply Scottish established a reputation with locals and visitors for both the quality and value of the meals produced.
Charles commented: “Our intention in Selkirk is to produce a modern coffee shop and restaurant of a similar standard and to fill a gap created by the closure of a number of eateries in the area in recent years.”
He says the key to his cooking is the essentially simple treatment of prime local produce with tasty sauces. Linda’s baking and desserts are known throughout the Borders and whose cheesecake recipe is a closely guarded secret both here and in Armenia.
Charles was a member of the tourism initiative group in Jedburgh and, as a keen marathon runner, helped found and organise the Jedburgh Half Marathon, now one of the top events of its kind in the Borders.
He added: “Both Linda and myself are much looking forward to contributing to the social and business life of Selkirk.”