Whistlebinkies is a long-standing and well-trodden live music venue for both established bands and new talent, showcasing up to 4 live acts every night, and more at the weekend. Going by a quick skim of their gig lineup there’s more than a bit of a rock bias, but also some blues, ska, reggae, funk, acoustic and more.
Built into the old vaults and cellars under South Bridge, it’s not short of alcoves, nooks and crannies. Some effort has gone into making it look old and tavern-like, for example the fake crumbling plaster on the bar, revealing the brickwork. Similar efforts have gone in elsewhere too and almost all the walls and ceiling have been artificially aged, making them reminiscent of some old man pubs of yore before the smoking ban, brown and grimy-looking. Perhaps the mild fusty smell’s artificial too, though it’s fairly typical of all the bars in the bridge. Anyway, why am I banging on about this? I don’t have anything against the blinkin’ decor, I was just trying to describe it. Sorry for wasting your time!
We were the only folk in here at 530pm on a Tuesday, besides the bar staff. The White Stripes, The Black Keys, The Rolling Stones, Modest Mouse and others entertained us on the stereo. It gets extremely busy at the weekends, since it’s open very late, and a good bet if you want to stay out without hitting the clubs.
It’s a Bruce Group pub, sister pub to the likes of Bar Salsa, The Fiddlers Arms, The Royal Mile Tavern, etc.
They’ve got a surprisingly long list of draught beers, mostly kegs. Cask: Caledonian Deuchars, Inveralmond Ossian, Harviestoun Bitter & Twisted. Keg: Carlsberg, Guinness, Tuborg, Belhaven Best, Stella Artois, Staropramen, Tetley’s Smooth, San Miguel, Black Isle Blonde, Harviestoun Bitter & Twisted, Tartan Special, West Hefeweizen and St. Mungo, Peroni, Somersby cider.
A pint of Black Isle was £4.35, cask B&T £3.70. So from this potentially unrepresentative sample, the average price is £4.02, just enough for me to add it to the pricey list.
Just crisps etc, I believe.
As mentioned, live music every night. Monday nights are Open Mic night from 9pm ’til the wee small hours.