Friday, October 18, 2019

Former NE haulage firm boss invests in Aberdeen restaurant bar

From left - Helen Richardson and Eddie Anderson
From left - Helen Richardson and Eddie Anderson

The former director of a north-east haulage firm has bought a west end Aberdeen restaurant and bar in a six-figure deal.

Eddie Anderson, who retired from ARR Craib in March after selling the logistics firm last year, has bought No 1 Bar & Grill in the city’s Queens Terrace.

Mr Anderson purchased the business and the basement property from local entrepreneur, Mark Cavanagh, who ran No1 for the past eight years as part of his Cranberry Restaurant Group.

An additional five figure sum has been earmarked for renovations of the restaurant, which has been a popular city venue since it opened more than ten years ago.

The restaurant’s 15 staff will remain in place under the new management and Mr Anderson’s fellow shareholding director, Helen Richardson, will continue to manage the day-to-day running of the bar and grill.

Mr Anderson bought into ARR Craib’s in 1983, eventually buying the whole company, which operated on a turnover in excess of £50m with more than 400 staff and 275 vehicles. 

With more than 35 years in the logistics industry, the investment marks a change of direction for Mr Anderson, who was a regular customer of the venue.

He said: “It’s an interesting new challenge but No 1 has always been a place that I love.  It is a very good, profitable business and I saw the opportunity to take the business to new levels of success.  Growing ARR Craib from a low base to a high level of success taught me how to do things right in business as standards and quality were key to our success, so I want to bring some of that skills and knowledge to No 1.

“We have a very loyal and regular clientele and we very much want to maintain the atmosphere, but we have a healthy budget to invest in some renovations to improve the flow of the bar and restaurant.

“I’m excited to work with a new team of people and as an avid wine collector, I’m looking at introducing a connoisseur wine list for our customers who are looking for something a bit more special.”

Helen Richardson, who has worked in the business for six years and became a shareholder 18 months ago, is looking forward to seeing the business develop: “We have been extremely fortunate to have a regular clientele even though patterns changed in the past few years and Eddie has joined the business at the right time. 

“He has been a customer here for many years and will bring a fantastic fresh approach into the business.  We have a strong kitchen and waiting team and are excited about the refurbishment, which will see the décor and furnishing freshened up and potentially some structural changes to the back of the restaurant, as well as a kitchen upgrade.”

No 1, which was initially opened by oil tycoon Ian Suttie, is renowned in the city for its modern, Scottish cuisine with its menu locally sourced and freshly homecooked. The venue is currently undergoing a five figure kitchen refit and restaurant refresh in an initial investment by the new owner.

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