Member of the Week - MacGregor’s Bar & Bogbain Farm

MacGregor’s Bars launched on St Andrew’s Night 2017 on Academy Street. Bogbain Farm is a much more established venue but in its present form as a wedding venue it was started in 2012.

We spoke to Bruce MacGregor, a professional musician with Blazin Fiddles for twenty years; weekly presenter on BBC Radio Scotland with “Travelling Folk”; Director of Northern Roots at Bogbain Farm and Director of MacGregor’s Bar, Academy Street Inverness.

Bruce said: “I only do stuff I 100% believe in so all the projects I’m involved with are things I love. I am VERY fortunate to have an amazing wife and business partner, Jo De Sylva, who works hand in hand with me on everything. She is very much the creative director of things.  We’re also very fortunate to have an incredible team who are amazing at the things we’re not good at!”

Bruce told Inverness Chamber why he would like to feature as member of the week: “I hope that people can pick up on the passion for the things we love. We’re passionate about the produce from the Highlands as well as the tradition and the culture that shape so many of these products. Our food and drink is vital but the welcome people get from our team is so important. We are all representing the Highlands and Scotland.”

Bruce shared with us some of the ‘must tries’ at MacGregor’s Bar on Academy Street: “The food and beer pairings at the bar are pretty spectacular. The ribs, mussels, oysters, and steaks are all local and all amazing. The beer and gin selection is probably the best in the Highlands and we actively encourage guests to try new taste sensations.”

 MacGregor’s Bar recently launched an Express Lunch, convenient for local business people. The main bar at MacGregor’s is ideal for informal business meetings but they also have private rooms for boardroom meetings with a difference.

Bruce added: “We are looking at venues throughout the UK and also across Europe and the Americas. We feel there’s a market for a bar which provides a genuine Scottish experience and there’s been a LOT of interest!”

We learned some of MacGregor’s Bar’s exciting plans for the next 12 months: “We have recently launched the Highland Malt Whisky Experience at the bar. This show combines music, song and whisky! We’re working with the cruise liners to start shows which will incorporate history, music, song and dance (The Highlander Experience) and a show which will highlight the music from the hit TV show “Outlander” We’re also working with the cruise ships on walking tours to various venues in the city which incorporate food, drink and music. Can you see a pattern?!”

Bogbain Farm has won most Unique venue in Scotland a few years back and I don’t think anyone can deny it is unique! Jo has improved the whole place considerably and we’re now at the stage where we are tweaking things rather than major work.

MacGregor’s Bar also scooped best the ‘Best Crowd Funded Business’ award at the Highlands and Islands Finance Awards on Friday 27th April 18. Since McGregor’s Bar was crowd funded, it’s quite a story of how it all came together. Bruce said: “Hopefully later this year we will see the fruits of our labour there!”

Bruce shared with is what he value’s most about Chamber membership: “Contacts and finding out what is happening in the city. I can get lost in my own wee world, it’s great to see the bigger picture.”

Bruce also shared his ‘top tip’ for maximising your Chamber membership: “Think what you can bring to help others and who you can work with. Be honest and direct.”

Here is a recent Trip Advisor Review of MacGregor’s Bar:

Trip Advisor 5*

“I can’t believed I’d never been here until today!! I honestly couldn’t fault the place. Only local beers served here and they don’t disappoint. Barman even let us try a tester of the raspberry lager which is lovely. As for the food, I had macaroni which was gorgeous! Garlic bread served with it was amazing and the hand cut chips are a fab touch! Service was great too! Thank you guys so much, you’ve made it such a gem of a place. 100% recommend a visit, great for both locals and tourists.”

MacGregor’s Bar
Address: 113 Academy Street, IV1 1LX
Tel: 01463 719629
Facebook: @MacGregorsBars
Twitter: @MacGregorsBars

Bogbain Farm
Address:  Bogbain Farm Inverness IV2 5BD FARM,
Tel: 01463 772800
Facebook: @Bogbain
Twitter: @BogbainFarm