Highlands hospitality operator Cru Holdings now has its first venue in the Highlands outside Inverness thanks to the acquisition of the well established and extremely popular bistro, The Classroom, in Nairn.

Acquired by local couple Willie and Fiona Lean in 2009, The Classroom has built up a reputation for excellent food, drink and service. Popular with locals and consistently receiving positive reviews on Trip Advisor, The Classroom joins a portfolio of award- winning establishments at Cru Holdings.

Scott Murray, managing director of Cru Holdings, explained: “I could not be happier to have The Classroom and all the wonderful staff that make it so special joining the Cru Holdings family. This feels like such a natural move as I feel I have so much in common with Willie and Fiona. I started Cru Holdings in 2009, the same year Willie and Fiona bought The Classroom and we all share the same values when it comes to sourcing good quality local produce and ensuring our staff are the heart and soul of our operation. This will be our first Highlands venture outside the capital. I’m delighted to have a presence in Nairn which has so much to offer.

“Having recently moved to Nairn, the classroom has become a regular feature in our weekly routine, and I was impressed with the quality of both the food, the surroundings and the staff. I knew it would be a perfect fit for our company.”

It will be business as usual at The Classroom when Cru Holdings takes over on 25th November. All staff will be retained by Cru Holdings which already enjoys a high staff retention rate thanks to its unique approach to staff welfare, and an employee benefits programme which includes discounts across all Cru sites, discounted holidays, interest free loans, guaranteed birthdays off and even free coffee.

For owners Willie and Fiona Lean, it is a positive move. Fiona said: “The Classroom and all the team there have been such a big part of our lives for over ten years now and I’m so proud of everything we have achieved together – it will be a wrench to leave, and was not an easy decision to make. At the same time, we are delighted to find somebody that shares the same values as us and we are confident that the Classroom will continue to thrive as part of Cru Holdings.  We believe the guys at Cru can take the Classroom to the next level.”

The Classroom joins a portfolio of popular pubs, bars and restaurants in Inverness including Bar One, Scotch & Rye, Prime and Angels’ Share.