A Donside pub shut its doors suddenly after the tenant chef who was running it disappeared, apparently citing an alleged unpaid bill as the reason.
The Glenkindie Arms had been run for the last two-and-a-half years by 38-year-old chef Ian Simpson. Last Thursday the pub’s owner, Eddie Falk, discovered he had left without warning.
“Mr Simpson left a note saying he has ceased trading and citing Sir James Forbes as the reason he has left, for allegedly not paying £2,500 for his 25th wedding anniversary meal back in August,” said Mr Falk, 49.
Mr Forbes is patron of the Lonach Highland Games and travelled from the US in August to mark the anniversary, which coincided with the 170th games. He had hired Mr Simpson, who lived on the premises, to organise a party for the anniversary celebrations.
The note alleged that “as a direct result” of Sir James Forbes of Newe “avoiding” paying him for a silver wedding anniversary party at the venue earlier this year, he had to stop trading.
In a statement to the Piper this week, from his home in California, Mr Forbes said: “We paid Ian a generous deposit before the party, but his failure to deliver on the night meant that we could not justify giving him any more.
“He was hired because of his talent as a chef and as a way to help boost his business, but he failed to take advantage of the opportunity.
“Before he panicked and tried to use us as a scapegoat for the financial mess he had created, he acknowledged ‘you would be well within your rights to tell me you were not willing to pay.’ We hope that Eddie Falk is able to find a replacement tenant soon.”
Mr Falk said: “He’s (Mr Simpson) taken chairs out of the bar, the cooker out of the kitchen, as well as fridges and freezers and two flat screen TVs out of the rooms. He has left a mess.
“I was up here landscaping on Wednesday and everything looked in order. He was late with the rent last month and promised me it would be here on Thursday.
“He didn’t answer the phone and I live just a mile away so I came down. He’s changed the locks at sometime, so I had to break in and notify the police. I also had to break into two of the guests rooms to check them. This now leaves me to find another tenant and sort out the insurance.”
We were unable to contact Mr Simpson for comment.
The closure of the Glenkindie Arms Hotel follows the closure of a neighbouring hotel. As reported in last week’s Piper, the Kildrummy Castle Hotel also shut down, with a loss of 15 jobs.