Staff at Tain restaurant celebrate boss’s Highlands and Islands Tourism Award

Ross-Shire Journal – Ian Duncan

Graham Rooney, the owner of the Platform 1864 restaurant, was named tourism and hospitality hero at the annual event.

Speaking after receiving the award he said: “I am absolutely delighted to have won such a prestigious award.

“During lockdown, nobody was thinking about winning awards but it’s great to have been shown some recognition for how hard I, and everyone else, worked with the cards we were dealt.”

He said there were a number of reasons which could have helped the restaurant stand out from the crowd and added: “I think lockdown and ‘deliverooney’ was a very pivotal time for me.

“I was working every day, meeting some truly amazing people. Sometimes I’d be the only person someone would see that week until I was back dropping off more dinners the following week.

“Post-lockdown, some of these people I met were never customers of the Platform and now they are.

“I think maybe the thing that makes my story stand out is that during a time where there wasn’t much room for community, I and the people I met managed to build one around the Platform which continues to this day.”

The restaurant first opened its doors in 2015 following a huge restoration of Tain’s old railway station.

Mr Rooney said: “It’s a very special building and we wanted to keep a lot of the original features intact – the hardwood floors, the stone walls.