The historic Douglas Arms in Friar’s Vennel, Dumfries – known better to locals as The Dougie – has been given a new lease of life by Dumfries DJ’s Les Ross and Lewis Boddy, better known as Double Down Disco. The duo is well known around gigs and festivals for their Double Down Disco sounds, and have been running a successful private bar and party venue in Dumfries for the past year, catering for small parties and celebrations with their soulful sounds and a bespoke menu of craft beers, wines and cocktails.
There’s been a pub on the site of the Douglas Arms since 1800, and its prime location made it a busy hostelry for market-goers in the town.
Les – the Douglas Arms licencee – formerly worked in the public sector and has a background in the music industry and youth work.
“When we saw that the Douglas Arms was available, we thought it would be a great opportunity for us to help revitalise a well-known corner of the town, and to provide a town centre bar where our customers can enjoy a great selection of popular and craft beers – including the popular Broughton Ales – and great selection of wines and cocktails. We also want to help showcase the wide variety of amazing musical talent we have in Dumfries, so we invited local artists to have their music in our curated CD juke box for everyone to enjoy”
Les’s business partner Lewis works part time for a local drug action agency, and has been working hard to get the pub ready to open its doors again:
“We don’t have a massive budget, so we’ve been sympathetic to the Dougie’s original décor, and given it a freshen up. Dumfries Womens’ Signwriting Squad has restored the external sign and we painted the outside of the pub to give it a facelift. For a bit of fun, we ran a crowdfunded campaign in the style of a disaster appeal video to modernise the toilets, and we were bowled over when we exceeded our target of £450. Anyone who donated will have their name engraved on our special toilet plaque for posterity!”
The pub lease is managed by Broughton Ales from Biggar, and Les and Lewis were delighted when their business case and fresh ideas for the Douglas Arms were accepted and they were awarded the lease. The Dougie is now open for business and Les and Lewis look forward to welcoming old and new customers to enjoy the newly refurbed pub.