A BUSINESS entrepreneur who won an auction to buy the former Morris's restaurant in Largs has revealed he tried to attract McDonald's to the site.

Kadir Turbun, who owns fast food establishments across Scotland, snapped up the seafront site at a property auction last year for £160,000.

He had hoped to transform the building into luxury flats for holiday lets but saw his plans sunk by the coronavirus pandemic.

Instead he approached the global burger chain with a franchise proposal but was buffed because of the town's size.

Domino's Pizza previously expressed an interest in the building, which Kadir says gives grounds for optimism.

He added: "After being a restaurant under Gordon Scott for 30 years, it has a prime position on the seafront. In Turkey, this kind of site would be highly attractive and would be worth a significant six figure sum.

"Unfortunately I'm having to concentrate on my existing businesses following the economic downturn and no longer have the time to focus on my original plans for Largs. But I am hoping with the expected upturn in trade and lockdown restrictions easing that this could be still be an attractive proposition.

"Largs is a busy place, especially in the summer, and I am hopeful that with the lifting of restrictions on April 26, this can represent a good opportunity for someone.

"It has a lot of character and Largs enjoys excellent summer trade, but you do require good support from the locals during the winter months.

"To buy this kind of property in a prime tourist resort in Turkey, £5m wouldn't be enough.

"The fact that a big name like Domino's has expressed an interest in the shop shows that there is potential.

"I applied for a McDonald's franchise but they knocked me back. They said they have existing business too close and there is not a big enough population.

"There are a lot of possibilities for the building. Ideally it would be good if it was a restaurant operation as it is ready to move into and has everything and at the ready, but I am keeping my options open.

"I have been running food outlets for 16 years and in the hospitality business you have to be there at all times. I am already very busy with our two operations, so there was no way of expanding that here sadly."

Kadir, pictured with wife Mary, has enjoyed lunch with First Minister Nicola Sturgeon at trade conferences, and also carries out entrepreneurial talks with school children about building their own careers in business..

Morris's Restaurant used to be The Royal Hotel until the 1980s when it was taken over by former hotel employee Gordon, who carried it on as a restaurant for over 30 years. It briefly became Morris's Seafood restaurant with a new blue aquatic style frontage to replace the more familiar green colour. It closed in November 2019 and has been vacant ever since.