Baptism of fire for BBQ joint

General manager Laura Smith and owner Iain Marr.
General manager Laura Smith and owner Iain Marr.

Starting a new restaurant in the height of the tourism season would be stressful enough but factor in opening your doors as The Open comes to town and it is a baptism of fire.

“It was a crazy first week but the feedback was overwhelmingly positive,” said Iain Marr, owner of Q BBQ Restaurant, which has made a sizzling entrance into the St Andrews eating scene.

Much has been made in the last year of the demise of independent businesses as they are swallowed up by or can no longer compete against national chains but Iain is bucking the trend.

The restaurant specialises in fresh cooked-on-the-premises US-style barbeque food.

“It’s sympathetic to the traditions of BBQ in America,” said Iain.

With a huge influx of American visitors in town for The Open, the restaurant was put to the test by many of its diners.

“We had a PGA pro tour player from Texas who was delighted with his food while another diner from Kansas said it was proper BBQ,” said Iain.

The restaurant is the fulfilment of a long-term ambition of Iain, who was formerly in sales and business development in golf tourism, which is what brought him to St Andrews several years ago.

He is also proud to be supporting local suppliers.

After the hectic first week, Iain is now looking forward to a busy summer ahead with the new venture.