TWO brothers are following in their father’s footsteps by taking charge at the same Haddington restaurant he opened more than three decades ago.

The picturesque Waterside Bistro, next to the River Tyne, had been run by Louise Williams and Jonny Dunbar for the past three years but closed at the end of May.

James and Jack Findlay, who grew up next door to the eaterie, have confirmed that they will be re-opening The Waterside – 32 years after their dad Jim founded it.

Younger brother Jack said: “We lived next door to the Waterside Bistro and it is really where we grew up in a way.

“It was all we really knew as kids. It was destiny that we were always to come back here one day.

“We never really thought it would happen with me 25 years old and my brother 27 – it has come quite sharp for us – but it is definitely the right time.”

Jim, who started his career at the George Hotel in Edinburgh, opened the Waterside Bistro in 1985. It became a firm favourite with both the town’s residents and those from further afield.

He also took charge at The Drovers Inn, East Linton, in 1993 and ran The Rocks, on Dunbar’s Marine Road, from 2004 until last year when it was taken over by Bobby Cox and Louis di Resta, father of former Formula One racing driver Paul di Resta.

Despite cutting his ties with The Waterside in 2004, it still felt like home for Jim, who lives on nearby Giffordgate, and many Haddington residents continued to associate him with the venue.

His two sons worked as co-managers at The Rocks, Dunbar, but Jack said it felt like the job there was complete and when the chance came to move ‘home’ they seized it.

Currently, the family is working hard behind the scenes tackling a variety of jobs, ranging from varnishing the picnic benches to putting hanging baskets in place, to ensure everything looks its best ahead of the grand re-opening on Monday.

James will take on a greater role concerning the food they serve, with a restaurant planned for the first floor.

A bar and bistro will be based on the ground floor, with Jack looking after that element of the business.

Jack added: “The public have been very supportive. They have been nothing but positive about it and it is nice to hear but we cannot take anything for granted. We need to give it 110 per cent from the start.”

The two brothers will handle the day-to-day running of the business but Jack added they would not hesitate in seeking advice from their dad, who retired in 2016.

He added: “He is the guy that we look up to. Despite James and myself being the two directors, we would not do anything drastic without going through my dad with his experience.”

Haddington and Lammermuir ward councillor John McMillan was pleased to hear both The Waterside Bistro and the nearby former Peter Potter Gallery would soon be re-opening.

He told the Courier: “Both re-opening is good for the town, particularly to encourage folk to walk through. They are both strong good places with a good legacy and I’m looking forward to them being successful.

“There is a lot of community support for them.”