Great Scot!

By By Lisa Anderson

By Lisa Anderson

Restauranteur Alan Merritt is opening a new restaurant near campus that sounds like it’ll have something for everyone. The Flying Scotsman was named after a rail line in Scotland and, just like its namesake, will transport you to all things Scot.

Merritt has been in the business for his entire working life, having previously owned a restaurant in Falls Church, Va. After that, he started a software company and was planning to take a year off, but fate stepped in: He was driving past the site of his first job, a restaurant called Geppetto’s, which was a local favorite for many years, and noticed that the property was condemned.

The idea was born, and from there, Merritt has worked hard to bring the building back to life, from the complete restoration and decoration of the interior to the beautiful artwork ensconced on the exterior. Neighbors have watched in delight as the condemned property just below campus on 1300 East has been transformed into a worthy segment of the neighborhood.

The Scotsman will feature Scottish cuisine, including traditional shepherd’s pie and a puff pastry-topped chicken pot pie, as well as a monthly special of haggis. American law prohibits the production of authentic haggis, because of the ingredients involved, but Merritt and his chef have worked out a recipe that they feel is very close to a genuine version of this infamous, yet unfamiliar, dish. An insider’s tip: They claim it is much more appetizing than the “real” way, especially to an American palate.

Utah law is a bit tricky when it comes to serving alcohol, but the Scotsman will do so as time permits. Beer and wine after the first month, and more to follow. Merritt plans to have eight imported beers on tap, including three Scottish and five British-and one nice (read: cheap) domestic beer.

The Flying Scotsman is hoping to foster an environment in which everyone feels welcome and can have a good time, from families to students to students with families. There’ll be a treasure chest from which young diners may choose a treasure to take home, and Merritt hopes to have a bag piper as a regular feature, as well. The Flying Scotsman will also offer student specials and lively after-hours music-much like sets in the tradition of Geppetto’s.

The colors and paintings on the wall lend a very Scottish tone, and if the tables closest to the Loch Ness Monster painting aren’t the house favorites, then they should be.