Edit, May 2015: this now appears to have changed hands. Details to follow.
The Crafters Barn is a Belgian themed bar and restaurant with an impressive menu of over 50 bottled Belgian beers. The interior’s modern and stylish, with exposed stone and brick walls, neutral-toned plaster walls, some white tiles, light wooden bar (with hooks), wooden table tops, wooden floor, leather benches, and lighting nicked out of a mine or factory. The industrial hints continue in exposed pipework and the construction of the central tables, apparently made from scaffolding, albeit sexy black scaffolding.
As is typical for a Tuesday night, it was pretty quiet, only about 5 other punters in apart from us. It’s also pretty new, so that may play its part. Our visit at the start of May was only a month after they opened. I think their prices may have a contributing role too, I certainly couldn’t afford to make this a regular haunt. They’ll do very well in the Festival though, I’m sure. The staff were very friendly and attentive, the music soft and enigmatic. Doug’s description of the music was “lift music if Enya had a lift”.
Big name kegs: Leffe, Hoegaarden, Heverlee, Belle-Vue-Kriek. There were also two Eden Brewery casks behind the bar, but they were finished.
Much more interesting than the draught beers, there are around 50 bottled Belgian beers. Each one gets a good long description in the menu, a full page for some (maybe all, I can’t remember). They had Orval, even in the proper glass, the first time I’ve seen it in a bar in Edinburgh. If you didn’t already know, beer connoisseurs think very highly of this beer, but it’s an acquired taste. I’ll spare you my opinion.
It’s good to see so much choice, but it comes at a high price. The draft beers were £5.23 a pint on average, and my Orval was an eye-watering £5.95, and it’s only 330mL!
We took advantage of their “nepolitana pizza night”, where you order one pizza and get the second half price. They were very nice, but I was glad it was the cheap night. Normally pizzas are £8 to £14 for the 12-inchers.
Other than pizzas there are also around a dozen tapas-ish “small plates” from £2.50 to £6.50, 4 varieties of mussels (£13), and 3 steaks (£19 to £22).
There’s a patio that’ll easily catch some evening sun in the summer.
Technically yes, but it’s not much of a “view”. You can just see a turret poking out behind Assembly Hall, probably from the Western Defences. There’s no photographic evidence though.