Dean Banks is bringing his beloved Haar restaurant back to St Andrews.
While his new venture, Dean Banks at the Pompadour, continues to win rave reviews for its high-end experience and tasting menu, Dean has always wanted to bring Haar back home, and has been hunting for the perfect venue.
This venue has now been found - The Golf Inn at 1 Golf Place - so the MasterChef finalist has launched a crowdfunder to raise funds for renovations to turn it into the Haar he always envisioned, but was unable to create due to restrictions in the previous venue.
Dean said: “I have always wanted to have Haar in St Andrews – it’s where it was born and where it will always belong.
“St Andrews is in my heart, it inspired Haar and it is where I want to create the restaurant I always envisioned.
"This new venue can be what I always wanted Haar to be. I didn’t have full control of the last venue so having to close and find a new home was ultimately a good thing.
“Now we will be able to create Haar as I always envisioned it, bringing the look and feel of the sea inside, and we can even have bedrooms so guests can come to Haar for dinner and stay the night.
“It will be a destination restaurant which is just what I have always wanted, to showcase St Andrews, the stunning produce we use and of course the food I turn it into with my crack team. It’s very exciting.”
Dean has previously crowdfunded Haar At Home, a successful business he set up during the first lockdown.
In order to help and support, Dean is asking fans to pre-buy meals, experiences and more, such as going lobster fishing with him, taking over one of his restaurants for the night or just having dinner.
“We could have gone to the bank and taken loans but I prefer to do things my way, and involve our faithful and supportive family – and that is exactly how I think of them – who have been so supportive of everything we have ever done," Dean said.
“Haar is a part of the rich cultural fabric of St Andrews and the locals really took it to heart – I’ve had so many questions about how the search for a new venue was going.
“It’s not charity – you’re simply pre-paying for whatever you want, with prices from £30 upwards. And there are some very special treats on offer in there too.
"Lobster fishing is a real experience, I love it, and am looking forward to welcoming people on board.
“It’s all part of my ethos – everything is local, all my relationships with the suppliers are vital. It’s so exciting to be bringing Haar back home and I hope everyone is excited we have found the right place to create the restaurant I always saw in my mind.
“We now have Haar headed for one of the most iconic addresses in Scotland, overlooking the 18th hole.
"Of course we want tourists to come experience the best of Scotland and the best of St Andrews, but this is very much about the locals who have supported Haar and everything I do from the beginning.
“It’s my way of thanking them by delivering a unique dining experience.”
The crowdfunder is open now, find out more here.