WHY might you need to buy a plane ticket to eat at John O’Groats?
The owners of an American restaurant travelled more than 5000 miles to visit the Caithness village and the signposts their establishment was named after.
John O’Groats is a popular award-winning restaurant which has been open for more than 30 years in Los Angeles. Owner Paul Tyler and his wife Lisa were on holiday in Scotland and could not leave without visiting the place which inspired the name of their restaurant.
It was opened in 1982 by Paul’s parents Robert and Angelica Jacoby, who already operated another restaurant in LA called Bit O’Scotland.
Despite not having any family connections in the far north of Scotland, Mr Tyler said his father loved the name and thought it would be perfect for the restaurant and the food they served.
“Since fish and chips were on our menu, dad thought it would be a natural,” Mr Tyler said. “He also thought the name was catchy.”
Mr Tyler said visiting John O’Groats during his trip to Scotland had been one of the highlights of his life.
“Though I do not have any personal heritage in Scotland, I was completely enchanted,” he said.
“It was the best trip of my life and I got to share it with my wife and children.
“We went to Scotland to visit my daughter’s friend in Glasgow but I insisted we go to John O’Groats.
“We cannot wait to return – it is truly an amazing country and we were very impressed with the people.
“We travelled all over and would like to buy a little home in Groats in the future.”
While the majority of the restaurant menu is American fare, there are Scottish-inspired dishes.
“We have had fish and chips on the menu since day one, as well as Scottish shortbread,” said Paul.
“We also have had shepherd’s pie, meat pies and Scotch broth on the menu.”
Anyone visiting Los Angeles can find the John O’Groats restaurant at 10516 Pico Boulevard.
To see inside the restaurant watch their video or visit johnogroats.us