La Mirage is a highly popular and well known restaurant located within the Sutherland village of Helmsdale, with a unique style, reflective of the flamboyant previous owner Nancy Sinclair. The current owners have upheld the tradition and maintained this restaurant as a very profitable business enjoying a healthy trade from both locals, travelers from Cattiness as well as the many tourists who frequent the area in the Summer Months. A large poster in the window reflects a testament from TV chef Clarissa Dickson Wright which featured in the Field magazine voting La Mirage as number two in her top six fish and chip shops in the UK, this is only one of the many articles and accolades written and granted in recognition of this unique and successful operation. The restaurant has been kept quite deliberately in the style of the 1970s, and diners find themselves having fish chips and mushy peas under the palm tree in the center of the room or next to some lively mannequins and artwork.
The sale of La Mirage forms three main parts:
La Mirage is a restaurant with 10 tables of various sizes to accommodate some 48 covers, as well as ladies and gents facilities.
“Simply the Best” which is a Fish and Chip Shop – hot food takeaway attached to the restaurant with a private access from the main street.
Four bedroom flat which is on the first and second floors, with generous lounge, kitchen/diner, shower room and some office space.
All supported by a very spacious and well laid out commercial kitchen located to the rear of the main restaurant and takeaway facilitating ease of service.
Located on Dunrobin Street in Helmsdale, the restaurant is in good order, and close to a car park with access down to the river. The Staff are welcoming and the excellent Trip Advisor ratings are testament to both the staff and the food. Quality is important, as is attention to detail, and the present owners, although not fully hands on ensure that this is maintained. The cuisine is mainly that which you would find in a good fish and chip shop with some steaks and other simple dishes which is what the customers expect. Turnover and profitability are reflective of a successful operation and new owners could quite easily maintain and grow these figures by continuing in this vein. A small motivated team of some 9 full and part time staff support the operation.
Now retiring to pursue other interests the present owners have owned and operated this business for some 13 years and having gone in with no catering experience whatsoever would thoroughly recommend the lifestyle to new motivated owners from any background.
Two and a half storey building, with front and back entrance and a single storey to the rear. This single storey extension comprises part of the restaurant as well as outside stores. These back on to a small self-contained courtyard. There is also a large commercial kitchen on the ground floor with pot washing and excellent food preparation areas, along with a store for wet and dry goods and an area for housing fridges and freezers as well as staff facilities. Externally there is a spacious storehouse facility with a concrete floor that is used for the preparation of fresh potato chips with a potato rumbler and mechanical chipper. This facility benefits from electric power and water.
Restaurant with street access, comprising ten tables and seating for approximately 48 covers. La Mirage opens daily at 11 am Mon-Sat and from 12 noon on a Sunday. Last orders are taken at 8.45pm. Ladies and gents facilities are located to the rear. Open year round with the exception of a two week period in January. There is a display chill unit for sweets.
Simply The Best:
The takeaway named Simply the Best has its own entrance from Dunrobbin Street, serving quality fish and chips and a range of takeaway food. Open year round except for a couple of weeks in January when a deep clean is performed, the hours of operation are 11am Mon-Saturday until 9-9.30pm and on Sunday 12 noon until 9pm. The area comprises of a service counter and freezer for ice creams etc. The fryers usually on display in a chip shop are concealed in the kitchen, are 7 years old and from Middletons. An excellent extraction system is in place and vented externally at the rear of the property. There is a small seating area for two or four persons.
The commercial kitchen is located immediately to the rear of the main restaurant facilitating ease of customer service. This exceptionally well fitted out workspace comes complete with top quality facilities, utensils, refrigeration units and food preparation aids. It has an effective extraction unit, hard flooring and meets the highest standards both in facilities, cleanliness and output. The kitchen has a dry goods store and immediate access to the rear of the property to enable ease of deliveries etc. External storage and workspace are also accessed from here. The premises are fully compliant with Environmental Health and Fire Regulations with modern detection systems.
Access to the rear of the property is via a gated alley which leads into a small courtyard where the external storage and work areas are located. Parking is available on street level or in the conveniently located riverside car park with both ladies and gents WC.
The subjects benefit from mains electricity, propane gas, water and drainage. The business is fully compliant with fire requirements. There is a modern and highly effective extraction system in place. Mostly double glazing. The business benefits from The Highland Council Small Business rates relief scheme.
Detailed accounting information will be made available to seriously interested parties. Turnover averages £360,000 before VAT with adjusted net profit in the region of £60,000, there is scope to quickly increase the turnover.
La Mirage Restaurant operates a liquor license under the Licensing Scotland Act 2005 and a copy of this will be made available to interested parties post viewing.
Offers around £375,000 are invited for the freehold interest, complete with goodwill and trade contents (according to inventory).
The property has an energy performance rating of G.
Number of bedrooms: 4
Owners Accommodation - Four Bedroom Flat: With a separate entrance from street level, a flight of stairs leads up to the first floor which comprises a lounge, with access to kitchen/diner as well as through to ancillary offices. Two large bedrooms with sinks and a newly fitted family shower room. The whole property has been recently double glazed and is heated by propane gas, with boiler located on second floor. Also on this floor are two further bedrooms. Although the property would benefit from some cosmetic redecoration, there is plenty scope here for a beautiful family home, as a letting property or on a B&B basis.
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 750 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. For the outdoor enthusiast the Highlands of Scotland are famous for spectacular scenery and rugged mountains, a reputation which is comfortably upheld by Helmsdale. 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.
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