Spiggie Hotel to cease trading

A much-loved hotel in the South Mainland is to close its doors in a matter weeks – after a more than a century of trading.

Spiggie Hotel owner Keith Massey put the business up for sale about a year ago but has been unable to find another buyer to take it on.

Mr Massey, 57, announced the decision this week on the hotel’s Facebook page.

“As part of my retirement plans, the Spiggie Hotel will cease trading on 16th October, 2016 (two months from today),” he said.

“In order to manage the run down to retirement it is necessary to inform customers, suppliers, trading and licensing authorities and last but by no means least, my loyal team of staff.

“We will cease offering lunches from the end of August and will continue to offer evening meals to non-residents until the end of September but on an advanced bookings basis only. During October and until the 16th, the bar will remain open to the public and the restaurant will cater for residents only.”

Mr Massey said it had been “a privilege” to have the support of the public and be custodian of the Spiggie Hotel for the last nine years.

Making the decision to retire had been a difficult one but he added: “I have enjoyed every minute and only wished I had started down the road twenty years earlier.

“As much as I had hoped to be able to continue trading by passing on the baton, it has not been possible to do so.”

Mr Massey said the Spiggie has been running as a hotel since the 1870s.

“When you’re part of the community and the hotel has been running as long as it has and I’ve not been able to pass it on, it’s a difficult decision to close it.”

Taking over the business in 2007 was a chance for Mr Massey to have a foothold back home.

He has happy memories of winter nights with themed evenings and charity fundraisers.

And using local produce has been important too.

“I have always used local produce wherever I can, and in a sense I’ve kept it fairly straightforward food as opposed to going down the route of being too contemporary,” said Mr Massey.

“It has been straightforward, good pub grub, as well as fine dining.”

Mr Massey is hopeful someone will come forward to buy the business and in the process of splitting up the properties so the hotel can be sold separately to the lodges.

As a keen runner he is hoping to do more trail running south during his retirement.


Add Your Comment
  • Michael Garriock

    • August 18th, 2016 17:50

    While virtually irrelevant to this main thrust of this article per se, it would be nice to see history quoted reasonably accurately.

    According to the Shetland Museum the first party of paying guests to stay at Whillygarth (as it was known then, and still known as by many locals yet) was in 1884. Additionally the hotel did not trade for a period of over twenty years from circa the early 1970’s until circa the late 1990’s/2000.


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