RESIDENTS of Templehall can raise a glass to celebrate the return of a local landmark, before nipping next door for a muffin and cappuccino.
The former Templehall Tavern had lain empty for four years but re-opened in December after a substantial refurbishment which saw the addition of Maria’s Coffee Shop to the front of the building.
Now simply renamed The Tavern, the return of the pub, part of Templehall since the mid-50s, came about after an approach by residents to one of Kirkcaldy’s most respected businessmen.
Dawn Muir, director of Kingdom Properties who bought and oversaw the refurbishment of The Tavern, and daughter of businessman Eddie Melville, said: “Some of the locals had approached my dad and asked if he would be interested. There are a lot of good people in this area and my dad is incredibly passionate about Kirkcaldy so he wanted to do it.”
Dawn said once work got underway they realised there was a huge job ahead: “There was a lot of work to do,” she said. “The building had no roof for starters! As well as renovating the pub, we also purchased the three bedroom flat above it.
“We’ve spent a substantial amount on the work and we made sure that we only used local firms to make sure all the money we spent stayed local. And we’re employing four members of staff.”
The Tavern is now a sports-themed pub showing all big football and rugby matches, as well as horse racing.
“My dad’s a huge racing fan so that had to happen!” said Dawn.
“Some have asked if we can start up the social club again which they used to have, and we may have music on or karaoke, but basically it’s a local pub for the community. The idea is that it’s a social hub so we’ll listen to what our customers want. We’ve given the people their pub back.”
So far the pub has had a lot of positive feedback. Dawn said: “It was mobbed on New Year’s Day, we were taken by surprise! It was a nice atmosphere and there was no trouble at all.”
Kingdom Properties also decided to half the Tavern’s original size and build a coffee shop next door.
Maria’s Coffee Shop is run by 38-year-old Mario Halmi. Working with Mario is his future mother-in-law Maria Liptakova and her daughters Natalia and Maria, Mario’s partner.
Mario said he thought a coffee shop was something the area was lacking: “It’s something different for Templehall,” he said. “So far it’s been going really well.”
The shop offers a selection of cakes – all of which are freshly made by Maria.
Mario added: “There’s been nothing like this here for years. We’ve a kids menu too. We’re working hard and confident it will be a success.’’