Fusion Group announces new restaurant tie up for Old Churches House

– Hillfoots based Juniper Restaurant establishes second venue at Dunblane hotel – News from old churches house

Old Churches House, Dunblane, owned and managed by the Denny based Fusion Group, has unveiled a stunning new “in house” brasserie, which sees Managing Director, Alex McKie, form an exciting new business partnership with TV chef and “local food hero”, Kenny Wilson.

Kenny and his wife Marie Claire currently run Juniper, a bar and restaurant in Tillicoultry, which in only a year of trading, has established an impressive reputation for using the finest, locally sourced, seasonal produce. The restaurant is also making a name for itself with its highly creative vegetarian and gluten free dining, representing some of the widest choice in this sector to be found anywhere in the Scottish restaurant scene.

Juniper at Old Churches House opened its doors to the public last week, replacing the existing eatery, the Dunblathian brasserie.

Said Alex McKie, the entrepreneur behind the re-birth of Old Churches House, formerly Scottish Churches House, a multi faith Ecumenical Centre, into a cosy hotel, brasserie and events space in 2013: “We are hugely excited to announce that Juniper has come to Old Churches House. It was very much a meeting of minds when, as two existing businesses operating a short distance away, we found one another and realised that it would be mutually beneficial to form a partnership. This not only breathes new life into our food offering as a busy hotel and events venue in one of the most vibrant “foodie” parts of Scotland, but also enables Kenny and Marie Claire to open a second outlet of their successful Juniper concept.”

“They have created something very special at Juniper,” continued Mr McKie, “a restaurant which is as good, if not superior, to many top restaurants in Edinburgh and Glasgow. And they are very much championing their local food heroes with an impressive array of suppliers from right across the Hillfoots and Perthshire, which are showcased daily in Kenny’s creations.”

Kenny’s Local Food Hero suppliers include well known names such as Gartmorn Farm in Clackmannanshire, Katy Roger’s Fintry Dairy, Tullibody Butchers Hutchison & Sons, Little Doone Foods from Alva, James Farmer Scottish Fish, Ochil Foods from Auchterarder and Summer Harvest at Crieff.

“All of this is a superb fit with what we stand for at Old Churches House,” said Alex McKie. “We have also championed local produce and suppliers and we can now take this concept to the next level. Kenny will also lend his expertise to our wedding and events menus, so there is huge scope to present something new to this market,” said Alex McKie.

Kenny Wilson will be well known to STV viewers through the popular TV series Square Meals, having appeared in twenty six episodes. Commenting on the new venture at Old Churches House, he said: “It’s great news for us, with this major opportunity to expand and grow our restaurant concept coming along at just the right time. We have introduced new menus for Juniper at Old Churches House and look forward to customer feedback. We are also looking at potential new suppliers across Perthshire.”

Old Churches House is part of a significant number of visitor attractions all situated within a couple of hundred yards of one another in Dunblane’s old Town Centre – the 13th Century Cathedral, Dunblane Museum, the Leighton Library, Scotland’s oldest private library and Andy Murray’s Gold Postbox. The fully restored Secret Chapel at Old Churches House is another attraction to add to this list, now opening to the public every day for free, with hire available for small weddings, christenings and prayer meetings.

Alex McKie believes that the new Juniper at Old Churches House will add a new dimension to the local restaurant scene, which sees Nick Nairn at The Kailyard, Hilton Dunblane Hydro, and Chez Roux at Cromlix House.

“Dunblane diners have never had so much choice,” he said, “We’re looking forward to staking our claim with Juniper, which will shake up the restaurant scene even further. What is really good news is that Dunblane is now a foodie destination that diners will travel to from other parts of the Central Belt.”

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