KELSO’S night-time hospitality offering is about to receive a shot in the arm with a new bistro-style venue set to open its doors.

The Cream Chimneys has been operating as a coffee shop at The Square in town for the past seven years.

Two years ago it was taken over by Susan Taylor who has gone to expand its offer with locally supplied coffee, home made cakes, soups, salads, locally sourced breads and daily specials offering vegan and vegetarian choices.

The venue recently received approval from Scottish Borders Council’s Licensing Board for a provisional premises licence to sell alcohol.

The venue currently operates as a coffee shop from 10am to 3pm and is, because of its location, often the first port of call for tourists exploring the town.

Now the plan is to open up the venue from late afternoon into the evening as a charcuterie.

There will be enough room for about 40 people with craft beers, wines and tapas to be among the offerings.

The venue currently employs up to 14 with the likelihood that up to four further staff will be taken on.

Susan said: “There is definitely room for growth and when I took over that is the way I wanted to develop the business, to move forward with a night-time trade.

“Kelso can become a bit of a ghost town come three o’clock, everything seems to close, so I wanted something just to piggyback off that and have options for locals and obviously the tourist trade.

“Getting the go-ahead from the Licensing Board was huge. Hopefully we’ll be open within the next month, it will be a bit of a soft opening situation, starting on maybe a Friday and Saturday and then take it from there – we will just be led by demand.

“It’s very exciting. It’s going to be a lot of hard work but as somebody that is self-employed for a long time you never really switch off from work anyway, even if you’re not physically at work.”