There’s been another blow to the café scene in Stornoway with the unexpected announcement this morning (Monday February 4th) that Nice ‘n’ Chilled at the Hub has closed without warning.

Business owner Graham Pilson made the announcement on social media early today, saying: “As of today the cafe has closed. This has been a very tough decision – one that had to be taken however.

"We have had the most amazing couple of years and met and fed some wonderful people. You can never account for health in plans, and mine simply cannot keep up with the demands of the job.”

But coffee lovers won’t be left dangling for long, as Alistair Glover of BeSpoke Bicycles, owners of the newly renovated Glen House on Willowglen Road, plans to re-open the café as a coffee stop on Saturday (February 9th).

Nice ’n’ Chilled opened in July 2017 as part of the new enterprise ‘The Hub’ at Glen House in the Castle grounds, creating a social spot and refreshment stop that was not just for cyclists.

It quickly became popular for an impressive mix of burgers, breakfasts and good coffee, launching new services including home delivery as the business built up. Supporters lamented the closure today, speaking of the friendly welcome, brilliant burgers and fabulous coffee.

BeSpoke Bicycles owner Alistair Glover - pictured above - told today: “This is not something I wanted to hear, but Graham has got to focus on his own health. We’re the best of friends and I’m sorry to see him go.

“He did, of course, give me early warning of this announcement and I have been hard at work testing coffee and cake until it comes out of my ears. I’ll be re-opening the café on a more limited basis on Saturday (February 9th) at 10am.”

Alistair will re-employ one of the three part-time staff who worked alongside Graham and plans to offer the most local refreshments he can find – with coffee from Inverness, tea from Perth and milk from an island dairy. He’ll also offer home-made soups and cakes sourced from island cooks.

He said: “I wish Graham all the best for whatever he goes on to do and, in the meantime, business at The Hub is booming and is gearing up for the next year to be even better than before.”