Crowds Flock to Spend a Penny at Harbourview

Harbourview is the new kid on the Arbroath takeaway scene, but it is very much making its mark as customers form long queues to try out the food on offer.

If you have been down to Arbroath’s harbour area recently then you will likely have seen huge queues along Old Shorehead.

People aren’t waiting in line to grab tickets for a big event or gig though, they are all keen to try out the tasty fare at the newest takeaway in town, Harbourview.

Since opening four weeks ago, the team at the venture, which is based in a converted former public toilet block, have been blown away by the number of customers they’ve had – and the reaction to the food and drinks on offer.

The brainchild of Arbroath businessmen Graeme Gersok, from the Townhouse Hotel, and Clive Jones, who operates Peggy’s in the town, the enterprise has enjoyed a promising start to life.

And Harbourview manager Beth Hodgens has loved every minute of it.

“It’s been amazing and everyone has been so nice as well, it’s been fantastic. We are just a wee group of staff, a nice wee family, we are really enjoying it,” she said.

“Everyone who has been coming down has been saying lovely things as well. We have a nice wee place here and we are in a good spot for people coming down. I have a lot of family, Graeme has a lot of family, too, so they’ve all been supporting us.

“We are still learning and getting there as it’s still early days but it’s been really good.

“There have been lots of big queues so we have had to be careful with social distancing, but that’s what you have to do just now.”

Beth, 20, was delighted when Graeme gave her a call asking her to take on her first managerial job.

“The takeaway used to be a toilet, then it got renovated and Graeme and Clive took it over,” she revealed.

“Graeme asked me what I was doing and I said was at university and was working at Peppo’s (fish and chip shop), but it was shut at the time so I wasn’t doing anything.

“I came down for a look and I was so surprised at how big it was inside. We got ourselves together and sorted things out. This is my first time properly managing a team, but I am really enjoying myself. It’s been a good challenge for me.”

The trio of Beth, Clive and Graeme all got together with chef Nick Ritchie to work out what Harbourview was going to offer – and if early indications are anything to go by it looks like they have got it right.

“Myself, Graeme Clive and Nick the chef got together and brainstormed ideas, and Nick made some stuff so we could try it.

“He has his own recipes for burgers, macaroni and other dishes so it was ideal because he brought his ideas as well. I’ve worked with food but I’ve never been a chef so it was good to see what he came up with.

“Clive and Graeme are the two perfect people to do something like this as Graeme has the customer and dining experience and Clive has the busy takeaway experience with Peggy’s and getting people in.

“It’s perfect and you couldn’t actually ask for a better squad of people. I know a lot of people from working in Peppo’s, so I have managed to get a few of them working in here and it’s been really nice to get a good group together.”

There are eight members of staff at the busy takeaway, with two in during the week along with chef Nick. Operating seven days a week, there is extra help on weekends with some Saturday girls helping out at the busy outlet.

And whether it’s breakfast or lunch, Harbourview is certainly tickling the Arbroath public’s tastebuds.

“The staff make a place and having friendly staff who everyone wants to chat to is great. We have our regulars who come down and see us every day which is brilliant.

“In the morning we have bacon rolls, black pudding rolls, black pudding and egg – they just fly.

“You wouldn’t even believe the amount of food we go through. Sometimes I just have to take a step back. When I phone the butchers they say ‘Are you sure you’re needing all this stuff?’ and I say ‘Yes I need it, I really need it’.

“The macaroni is really popular as are the burgers and we are about to start doing chicken burgers as well. We have milkshakes, too, which have been flying out the door as well.

“People have been asking for flavours so we have taken some inspiration from what people are wanting too.

“As we go we will grow the menu, adding things on and taking things off as we learn. You can’t do the same things all the time. People do get bored so you want to keep it fresh and keep new things changing all the time.

“And it has to be good quality food as well. We get all our meats from DH Robertson the Butcher and keeping it local as much as we possibly can.”

With foreign holidays unlikely to be on the agenda this summer, Beth and her team at Harbourview are ready to welcome an anticipated influx of visitors.

“We are hoping that a lot of staycations will keep us busy,” she continued. “People can’t really go abroad and a lot of the caravan parks will be opening in the next few weeks.

“It’s going to be a good summer for Arbroath as a whole I hope. People who are from Arbroath who have been coming down have been loving that there is somewhere new to go and people to speak to. Being able to just come and speak to people is great.

“I said to everyone that it is going to busy but I don’t think anyone realised how busy it was actually going to be. The joy on the little kids’ faces when you give them an ice cream I’ve never seen anything like it.”

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