Othin House is a substantial property on the arterial A9 (Inverness to Thurso route) and is situated in a most prominent position. The property’s name refers to the Old Norse God, also known as Odin, and is indicative of the Viking influences seen in the area. The business originally built in circa 1897, was previously a number of retail outlets but has been developed into a modern bar and restaurant style business. However, since completion of the structural and decorative redevelopment of the business, it has not traded principally due to the ill health of the owners. However, the reconfigured property would easily lend itself to being a number of diverse styles of business. There would be scope to operate as a café with a retail element, alternatively, the business could be operated as a traditional bar and restaurant subject to the necessary license application. Such a business could operate with a solid year-round demand from local residents with the addition of strong tourist trade which peaks between Easter and October.
Internally the premises are arranged at ground level to a large ‘L’ shaped servery and bar plus a commodious function / music room. This well-laid out business has well-appointed customer facilities and a good array of service support rooms. These combined with excellent storage and spacious grounds offers a great many potential trading opportunities. The building has benefitted from a significant upgrade in all services and facilities and although any new prospective owner would need to invest in new equipment and sundry items; the property has been placed on the market at an attractive price to allow for such future capital costs.
Helmsdale is a Sutherland coastal village steeped in history and with a strong maritime tradition. The village boasts a good level of local amenities for both visitors and residents. The area has an association with Viking history and attracts a great many tourists. The area is renowned for its gold panning at Kildonan and the Timespan visitor attraction within the village depicts the regions diverse history. The village has approximately 700 inhabitants and is one of the main centres of population in Sutherland. It also has an excellent links golf course and is in easy reach of the famous course at Royal Dornoch which lies to the south. The region is also renowned for its whisky production, with distilleries in Brora, Wick and Tain. Slightly further afield the Falls of Shin and Dunrobin Castle provide for an interesting day out. These attractions combined with the varied natural scenic beauty of the surrounding area make it highly popular with a wide range of visitors and tourists.
The Highlands of Scotland are famous for spectacular scenery and rugged mountains, a reputation which is comfortably upheld by Helmsdale. The wonderful unspoilt scenery of the famous coast line and surrounding hills combine to make this a most attractive area. The region draws in a high customer footfall from visitors which would generate a potential customer base for the business in the summer months as there is no shortage of opportunities in the immediate area for holiday makers.
For walkers the beautiful Sutherland terrain offers varied degrees of challenge from the more leisurely hillwalking to more stretching mountaineering. A wide range of birdlife attracts the ornithologist and the area has a huge appeal to the naturalist. The rivers within the region appeal to large numbers of sports fishermen, golf, touring and genealogy are other favourite pastimes, together with the prospect to visit nearby Scottish castles and other historic sites. Additionally, in the vicinity there are many self-catering accommodation providers, hotels and guest houses whose patrons in turn generate trade for all the services supported by the business.
REASON FOR SELLING
The present owners commenced renovating the business in 2002 and now are seeking a change of direction due to illness and retirement offering the scope for new owners to acquire this desirable “home and lifestyle” opportunity.
The property built circa 1897 is mainly of traditional stone construction under a mainly pitched slate roof with lesser areas of flat roofing. Accommodation is arranged over two levels as stated in the paragraphs to follow.
From a prominent roadside location in the village square, the premises have easy street level access with two main entrances to the trading areas. All the trading areas of the property have been recently fully refurbished and are extremely well maintained throughout and have a good range of flexible fixtures and fittings. These areas also have pristine floor coverings. The quality of décor in the trading areas is excellent with good use of neutral colours. The bar area is accessed from Dunrobin Street and is a bright room with a good mix of natural lighting and tasteful ceiling lights. The expansive main sales servery is fitted with a chiller and sinks. There is adequate shelving for glasses, crockery and stock items. Seating is split between bench seating and free-standing tables and chairs and there is sufficient room to accommodate up to 30 customers. The bar features some excellent use of interesting materials and there is a solid fuel fire with tile surround set against a stone wall backdrop.
The large function room provides a large area which would be ideally suited to a number of purposes; restaurant, retail, music or workshop space. There is scope to provide 60 seats for customers or ample space with which to merchandise stock. With its own access from the main road, this area could trade independently of the bar area. A feature of this area is that it is acoustically sound making it an ideal music venue. The trading areas are supported by good quality washrooms; disabled, ladies and gents. To the rear of subjects is a walled garden which could be used as a trading area with external seating.
The premises are well laid out to support the strong level of turnover achieved through the trading area. There is a commercial kitchen with an extractor fan and 6-ring cooker plus sinks. The kitchen has excellent quality flooring and wall coverings. The main store-room is chilled and could be brought into use as a beer cellar or a chill room. A large general food preparation room is situated adjacent to the main trading spaces; this is a large room and has considerable potential for additional uses subject to necessary consents.
The owner’s accommodation is an excellent feature of this property and has a separate access to the main trading areas, providing a good level of privacy. There are 5 large rooms presently configured to three bedrooms (one en-suite), a family bathroom, a study and a lounge. In addition the private accommodation has a kitchen diner. All rooms are presented to a high level of décor. New owners could utilise the accommodation as it presently stands or consider bringing some rooms in to use as a B&B facilities.
The business is a substantial property with a large footprint and prominent roadside frontage. The business has an area of private garden and a double garage to the rear. There is also a laundry room accessed from the garden plus a yard area for bin storage etc.
The subjects are connected to mains electricity, water and drainage. LPG gas is used for cooking, with electric storage heaters and double glazing throughout.
The Energy Rating of the property is ‘G’.