About us

Standing proudly in the centre of Crail, The Shoregate is a coastal gem bought and rescued from an uncertain future by Nicholas Frost and Damon Reynolds in 2019.

Operating as a hostelry since the late 1800s, this historic 18th century building underwent a two and a half year restoration and refurbishment and reopened its doors in May 2022.

Previously belonging to a doctor, ‘Cross House’ was first converted into a hotel in around 1890 by the Hendersons who raised the roof and added a rear section. The Cawthorns then took it over and are believed to have enclosed the rear passage and smoke house, making the structure we see today.

Over the years, the building has seen many owners and landlords. By 2019 major restoration work was required to bring the listed building back up to scratch with a new roof, harling, ground floors, plumbing and electrics.

Working closely with local joiners, craftsmen and trades, Nick and Damon wanted as much as possible for every detail to reflect its location and history.


Head chef Craig McAllister and sous chef Josh Macdonald have already achieved a reputation at the Shoregate for delivering thoughtful, creative dishes that deliver style backed up by substance.

Craig’s career has taken him to various prestigious establishments including Number One at the Balmoral, the Sheraton Grand, Prestonfield House Hotel and the Road Hole Restaurant at the Old Course Hotel. As Head Chef at The Shoregate, Craig has a strong commitment to guiding and supporting young chefs as they develop their talents in the kitchen and in showcasing East Neuk’s finest produce through seasonal menus that change regularly.

From the Isle of Arran, Josh cut his teeth in various small hotels and restaurants on the island followed by a stint working in Valence, France, before moving to St. Andrews to work at the St Andrews Links Club House. From there he moved to Craig Millar at 16 West End in St. Monan’s, followed by Pittormie Castle in Dairsie, before joining the team at The Shoregate for opening.


Front of house

General Manager David Fussell and Deputy David Allan ensure the dining room, bar and bedrooms run like a freshly oiled machine, aiming for spot on customer service where nothing is too much to ask.

Hailing from New Zealand, David Fussell honed his skills at renowned establishments such as the Tom Morris Bar & Grill in St. Andrews, the Fairmont Hotel in St. Andrews, and the Marriott Hotel in York. His journey has also taken him to prestigious hotels like the Balmoral Hotel in Edinburgh and the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Queenstown, New Zealand.

David Allan grew up in Anstruther and joined the Nicholson’s Group shortly after graduating from university. Having run the group’s social media department David took a sabbatical in Australia, working for the James Squire onsite brewery in Brisbane under the supervision of brew master Chuck Hahn. He returned to Scotland to manage a number of the Nicholson’s Group premium pubs in and around Edinburgh, before joining The Shoregate.


Nick began life in Peru, and grew up living across Latin America. He studied in Salamanca and Bristol, gathering diverse experiences. Graduating, he veered off the conventional path, teaching English in rural Japan before transitioning into project and programme management for international development organisations.

Damon, originally from Wandsworth, London, has been a Crail visitor from babyhood. His grandparents owned a cottage just down the hill from The Shoregate, and most childhood summers were spent exploring its wynds and coastal paths, building dams across the burns on Cambo Sands and eating fish and chips (usually whilst sheltering under an umbrella).

When the opportunity arose to breathe new life into the historic East Neuk Hotel in 2019, Nick and Damon seized the chance to do something different, and to give something back to the village where they were increasingly spending more of their time.