Ellon’s newest pub landlords are putting their own stamp on the premises.
Martin and Kerry Smith took over the running of the Tolbooth a few months ago and indicated they would take their time before deciding on making any changes to the popular town centre hostelry.
The couple have introduced live music and recently celebrated a highly successful opening night with local musician Jake Coghill.
And they hope to make it a regular slot - giving new and established acts the opportunity to impress in 2015.
Martin said: “We noticed a niche in the market with no regular live popular music in Ellon and we decided to take that step into the unknown and embark on a first for the Tolbooth.”
He explained that the amount of requests for Jake Coghill since taking over the tenancy persuaded him to book the up-and-coming young singer for the opening act.
Martin said: “He was top of the list. Jake was equally delighted to take up the offer and the opportunity for their fledgling band to make their first public appearance.
“We had great feedback from it and the Tolbooth recorded its busiest night of the year to date with both levels of the pub packed with appreciative music fans.”
Jake played solo for an hour followed by a 14-song set with band members Ali Rose on lead guitar and backing vocals, and Caitlin Martin on keyboard and vocals.
And the good news for local music enthusiasts is that Jake has signed up for a Hogmanay stint at the Tolbooth.
Martin hopes to give other local acts a chance to show what they can do in the New Year with monthly bookings for live performances.
He added: “It’s a chance to showcase themselves and provide great entertainment for local people.”