#43: The Blackbird, Leven Street, Edinburgh

The Blackbird, Leven Street, Edinburgh (exterior)

The boys’ notes do a decent job of describing the place for those in a hurry:

Seating for 3 big groups in the main bar and that’s it. This probably falls under Dave’s ‘Gentrification’ banner. Exposed brick, black and white tile, leather cladding on the bar.

So what was once The Auld Toll, a bit of an old man’s pub, got replaced by something a lot more sophisticated. It’s under the wing of the Big Red Teapot group, the same people that brought you Treacle over on Broughton Street and Hamilton’s in Stockbridge.

The Blackbird, Leven Street, Edinburgh (interior, bar)

There’s the bar to the left as you come in with relatively few seating options, and a restaurant to the right. I guess they’re expecting to either be a bit quiet or have lots of people standing. This must frustrate the restaruant servers as the kitchen’s on the other side of the bar from the restaurant, so they’ll have to barge through any after work or weekend crowds.

It was noted that a not entirely family-friendly soundbite from one of the crew (though not swearing) was picked up on by the rest of the patrons, resulting in a some evil stares not unlike a scene from “The World’s End”.

Another big tick for “NO DAVE”. Cheers.


No real ale on tap (edit: see comments, Deuchars might be cask), just kegs from the big boys: Heverlee, Hoegaarden, Staropramen, Caledonian Deuchars, Innis and Gunn Lager, Tennent’s Lager, Caledonia Best, Red Stripe, Guinness and Estrella Damm.

There are some interesting bottled beers, but they’re a bit pricy from what I remember from a previous visit. Sorry, the only one I can remember is Brooklyn Lager and it wasn’t far off £5 for a bottle.

There’s a large cocktail menu too.

The round was £12.40 for 3 pints (1 each of Red Stripe, Heverlee and Deuchars) so around £4.13 per pint. That’s pricey for Tollcross. The Bruntsfield set are closing in!


I’ve eaten here before with the missus on a previous visit, and the food was really good. No, I can’t remember what I had or how much it cost back then, but it wasn’t that expensive. It’s restaurant quality food, mind, none of your pub grub.


From the lads:

“Ironic” alt/hipster covers of mainstream hits. TVs showing MTV fodder (Miley Cyrus (she’s so hot right now)).

Fresh Prince on Telly. Ashley wears a jean jacket [indecipherable]

Decent coffee machine on the bar.

The Blackbird, Leven Street, Edinburgh (exterior, beer garden)

I’d like to point out the glaring omission here which is the relatively large beer garden out the back. It was there in the days of the Auld Toll, but they seem to have tidied it up or expanded it or something. It seems larger than the old days. A big improvement. It’ll get plenty of sun in the summer, even perhaps into the evening.

Castle View



Website: theblackbirdedinburgh.co.uk
Twitter: @TBBedin
Parent: Big Red Teapot Ltd


2 responses to “#43: The Blackbird, Leven Street, Edinburgh

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