Iconic Cruden Bay hotel closes its doors

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A ONCE thriving Buchan hotel has closed after its proprietors allegedly went bust.

Cruden Bay’s Red House closed on Friday, following reports that management team Emaja Limited had hit financial difficulties.

The Aulton Road venue, which boasts stunning views of Cruden Bay golf course, a popular public bar and an acclaimed restaurant, was boarded up on Friday leaving townsfolk baffled and its staff of 12 out of a job.

A source told the Buchanie last week that food was unavailable at the restaurant over the weekend sparking concerns that the business could be in crisis.

The source, who did not wish to be named, said: “Food is normally available from midday until 9pm but meals were not being served last weekend which was very strange. Tables are always nicely set in the Red House’s restaurant but none were set last Sunday.

“I feared that this meant the end of the Red House and am disappointed now that the rumours have turned out to be true.”

Tables and chairs had also been packed away in the hotel’s 150-seat function suite last Friday.

Lorraine Devenish, a director of Peterhead Snooker Company which owns the Red House, said that rumours had spread last week that Emaja Limited had come into financial difficulties, but that nothing had been confirmed.

She said: “It was a very popular venue and has a great reputation for food. All we knew last week is that rent payments were overdue.”

Mrs Devenish said that quarterly rent payments had been made regularly since the company took over the running of the hotel eight years ago, but that payments had been missed lately, sparking concern for the hotel’s future.

In light of recent developments, she said that she was disappointed that rumours had turned out to be true. Emaja Limited allegedly handed keys to solicitors on Friday, leaving rent unpaid.

Mrs Devenish said: “It’s really disappointing.”

A commercial survey carried out last month, known as a Schedule of Dilapidations, found that the hotel was in desperate need of restoration.

The 60-page document reported cracked tiles in the restaurant’s kitchen, rotten wood, torn carpets and various other shortcomings.

The hotel, which has long been a popular venue for Cruden Bay folk and visitors alike, was bought over by Peterhead Snooker Company more than 20 years ago.

Emaja Limited declined to make comment to the Buchanie.