I wasn’t looking forward to this place, thinking it would be too trendy and have crappy dance/pop music on the stereo. Well it is a bit trendy, but more sophisticated than I expected with a nice soundtrack of triphop, reggae, funky beats, dj shadow etc, and some bespoke artwork. The staff were friendly but ever-so-slightly aloof. It was neither quiet nor busy and there was quite a range of clientele from trendies to beardies, but all relatively young, mid 20s to mid 30s.
The parent company Amicus Ventures have two other bars in Aberdeen, and appear to be in cahoots with The Speratus Group, listed on that site as a “sister venture”. This means they’re at least loosely related to The Golf Tavern and 99 Hanover Street.
No cask ales but on keg there was Carling, Belhaven Best, Coors Light, Heineken, Orchard Cider, Guinness, Friar Weisse, Moretti, ranging from £3.95 to £4.75. Despite the rather mundane choices on tap, it was nice to see some bottled beers different from everywhere else, namely Camden Town, Black Isle, and Brooklyn IPA (usually just their lager). Bottles were all around £4.
Cocktails starting at £6.50. Elaine got a cocktail on this visit and the barman brought it over, placed it down and then proceeded to scatter some flower petals around the base (see picture, right). An interesting touch, but mostly lost on us heathens. I couldn’t tell whether the barman was smiling or grimacing as he dished out the petals. We were certainly smiling.
Our round was £18.75 for 2 pints (£8.25), a bottle of Brooklyn IPA (£4), and a cocktail (£6.50). I’ll stick that down as £4.08 per pint on average.
Much more restaurant-like than pub grub, mains starting at £10.95, no sign of any pub classics certainly. A few small things under a fiver, sandwiches from £6-ish.
If there’s ever a run on the banks, skip the queues and head here instead. The entire length of the front of the bar is decked out in what would appear to be at least £1m worth of 5p coins.
Some of the seating was pretty uncomfortable. The bench seating across from the bar was too high so even tall people’s legs dangled down, but no foot rest. I couldn’t have sat there for much longer. They were pretty though, Russ wanted me to say he really liked the orange piping on the green seats.
Yes, you can see Edinburgh Castle from both inside and outside (the full hokey-cokey). In fact, so far it’s the best view yet.