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One of East Renfrewshire’s best-known watering holes has new owners at the helm.
The Uplawmoor Hotel was taken over by television and radio personality James Smith, 45, and his 55-year-old husband Neil on Friday.
They already own the Roebank Hotel, in Beith, Ayrshire, which they converted from a church in 2018 and has become a successful wedding venue.
James, who was a presenter on the former STV2 channel, including shows such as Live on Five, also owns a property letting company in Glasgow.
If that wasn’t enough, he presents on Scene Radio and Paisley FM under his alter ego Mr Fabulous and is hoping to broadcast soon on Barrhead’s Pulse Radio.
But James insists the main focus of his energies – and those of husband Neil – will be the Neilston Road hotel, which they bought from another married pair, Stuart and Emma Peacock.
The Smiths are hoping they will become as well known in the local community as the Peacocks, who took over the 18th-century former coach house in 1992.
James spent his first weekend in charge serving tables and working behind the bar to get to know the customers.
He has no plans to make changes to the way the hotel is run, although there may be some tweaks to the menu.
James told the Barrhead News: “This has been a very well-run hotel over the years, as is clear from the accounts, and we are delighted to have been able to buy it.
“I have spoken with all the staff and am delighted to say they want to continue here with the new owners.”
The Uplawmoor Hotel, which has been extended and renovated over the years, comprises a 60-seat restaurant, as well as cocktail bar, lounge bar and beer garden.
It also has 14 en-suite bedrooms.
Neil, who is a law graduate and engineer, and James have been together for 26 years and have three children.
James, who is an ambassador for a number of charities, including Spina Bifida Hydrocephalus Scotland and Parent Network Scotland, plans to host regular fundraising events at the hotel to benefit the local community.
He added: “I always think it is important when you are running a local business that you give something back.”
The departure of the Peacocks ends a long family tradition in the local licensed trade.
Stuart’s mother, Rena McKay, owned the Fereneze Inn, in Barrhead, and his father Ian managed both the Brig Inn and the Arthurlie Inns.
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