McCowans started off as a brew pub when Fountain Park first opened, with all the brewing gear on display at one end of the pub. The gear sat unused for years, but is now back in full swing at Pilot Beer down in Leith.
The pub itself is pretty big, split over two levels, although I’ve never seen anyone upstairs. Perhaps the upstairs is open at the weekends. There’s a pool table and some puggies at one end of the long room, and a pinball machine at the other end. In between is the long bar and a whole bunch of tables and one or two couches. Very high ceilings with exposed pipework and steel give it a slightly industrial feel. The entire length of the place is glass fronted so it’s good for people-watching, with a lot of foot traffic for the cinema next door. For a Tuesday night it was kind of busy, around half of the tables were taken.
It’s a John Barras pub, one of only two within the scope of our tour, the other being Shakespears on Lothian Road. Barras is part of the Spirit Pub Company, owners of a number of other pub chains like Taylor Walker.
An impressive 9 cask taps but only 2 on on this particular occasion: Belhaven Robert Burns Brown Ale and Westons Old Rosie Cider. On keg: Guinness, Carling, Tennent’s Lager, San Miguel, Stella Artois, Kronenbourg 1664, Caledonia Best, Strongbow.
No record of the price of the round, but it’s likely similar to the prices at Shakespears which was about £3.25 per pint.
Reasonable food at cheap prices. Mains from £6 to £9 but mostly under £7. Special deals like 2 meals for £10 etc.
Pool table, Star Trek pinball, TVs showing football.
Not sure. Oops.