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Critically acclaimed island restaurant Digby Chick to close permanently

The high end restaurant in Stornoway won't reopen after lockdown is eased.

Published: July 6, 2020
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The owners of Digby Chick in Stornoway have made the decision to close the restaurant, after 20 years in the business.

The restaurant has been critically acclaimed for years, and is popular with locals and tourists thanks to its close proximity to the CalMac ferry terminal.

Posting on their Facebook page, the owners of Digby Chick said: "We have made the unavoidable decision to close Digby Chick Restaurant permanently.

"We have not taken this decision lightly but the impact of the Coronavirus pandemic has meant it is no longer financially viable for us to continue to operate, and after 20 years in business it is heart breaking for us to close the doors on Digby Chick.

"The longevity of our success has been down to our loyal customers, the hard work and dedication of our incredible staff, thank you so very much."

The Facebook post has over 300 comments, with many diners expressing their sadness at the closure.

A Facebook user replied: "Terrible news. Was our favourite place to eat out! Gutted and so sorry for all the staff."

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One posted: "Gutted to hear this. The best restaurant in town!"

Another added: "As visitors to Lewis, the Digby Chick is our family's favourite restaurant anywhere....we are so sorry you are closing, but thanks for some very special memories."

After some negative comments, the owners made clear that this wasn't a decision to do with rent, saying: "We feel we need to comment regarding our landlord as there have been some negative comments , just to clarified our landlord did not charge us rent over the lockdown period and has been very supportive through this difficult time Thank you."

The name alludes to the restaurant’s speciality, seafood – Digby is in Nova Scotia, where Digby chick means dried or smoked herring.

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This isn't the first island restaurant to call it a day during the current coronavirus crisis.

In June the Harris & Lewis Smokehouse restaurant made the sad announcement on their Facebook page that they wouldn't be reopening, saying: “We have made the difficult decision not to reopen the Harris & Lewis Smokehouse Restaurant following its closure due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The smokehouse will continue to run as a development facility.

“We are currently consulting with affected employees and, where possible, will look for opportunities to redeploy them elsewhere in the business.”

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Big name restaurants in Edinburgh - The Tower and Castle Terrace - will also remain closed after lockdown.


Known for cake making, experimental jam recipes, Champagne, whisky and gin drinking (and the inability to cook Gnocchi), Rosalind is the Food and Drink Editor and whisky writer for The Scotsman, as well as hosting Scran, The Scotsman's food and drink podcast.

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