The Star Bar is another hidden gem* down a side street in the New Town. There’s a decent beer garden, a good, cheap jukebox (“10p a pop”) and a foosball table for starters, three things you don’t see very often in Edinburgh, let alone in the same pub. It’s split over two levels, the bar and foosball on the lower street level and a lounge area on the upper level. The lounge has some big leather Chesterfield sofas, mismatching tables, chairs and stools, a jukebox, an old fireplace (disused?), a piano and the door out to the beer garden. At the bar level there are various musical instruments dotted around including a small drum-kit in the window, and another jukebox. It’s the first place I’ve seen the Pub Stops of Edinburgh poster from 2011, perhaps we’ll do that next. Eh, naw!
* Yes Russ, a GEM, I tell you!
On this visit (Tuesday night as usual) there were maybe just under a dozen folk in. It was a friendly crowd, an older couple sitting at the bar, another middle-aged couple beside the jukebox, and a group of 20-somethings playing table football. They all looked like regulars. We were treated to more Curtis Mayfield (second pub in one night), and we must have pumped several quid into the jukebox, despite not sticking around long enough to hear them all.
We’ve been here in the past but it got voted down for various minor frivolities. Russ has a chip on his shoulder about the place because they wanted to charge an extra 50p for a card payment, Westy got burned by the jukebox eating his 10p one time, and Iain wasn’t keen on the overall cleanliness, or something. I like it a lot, my only complaint is that every time I’ve been in (admittedly not that often) it’s had the same cask beers on, Deuchars and Landlord.
Two cask beers, Caledonian Deuchars and Taylor’s Landlord. Kegs: Grolsch, Guinness, Tennent’s Lager, Estrella Damm, Stella Artois, Magners.
I’ve no record of the price of the round, but I’m pretty sure it’s easily under £4 a pint.
Since I didn’t see any menus on the night, I’m looking at the full menu on their website. It’s hard to believe those prices can be up to date. If they are then it must be the cheapest fish and chips in town at £4.95. Nachos appear to be bargain too at £4.25 and 5oz burgers £5.25 before you add any extras. There’s nothing over £6.
They have an unexpectedly large “beer garden” out the back. It’s bigger than I realised, and by Edinburgh standards it’s decent, with room for around 6 big picnic tables, umbrellas and a barbecue. Call me pedantic, but it’s more of a patio if you ask me. It was dark on this visit, I’ll nip in and get a photo some time.
On the entertainment front, there’s a dartboard, foosball and occasional live music.