The Banshee Labyrinth is quite a large pub built into the old vaults within the foundations of South Bridge. I don’t know about the banshees (it’s allegedly “Scotland’s most haunted pub”), but it’s certainly at least relatively labyrinthine. It’s worth a visit even just for the first few minutes of exploration, with 3 bars, a pool table and a “cinema”.
The front two rooms looking out onto Niddry Street have a mostly normal pub appearance, perhaps a little on the shabby side, but the optimist in me says it’s just well loved. Anywhere that has a framed Beetlejuice poster gets instant bonus points in my book. There’s a high woodenness quota too with mid-level and full-height panelling in places, and several old booths and churchy pews.
At the back of this regular-looking room is what looks like a portal through to a nether world, inviting you to step through and explore. You will find a stylised and dramatically-lit corridor that runs the length of the property, leading to the other bars and rooms pictured here.
On our visit, not long after 7pm on a Tuesday, they had only just opened and we were the only mortal souls in the place besides the staff. The music was a mixture of various flavours of rock from over the years from The Clash, Nirvana, ACDC and other unidentified soft rock and heavy metal numbers. Not long before we left a small group of punters came in and made a bee-line for the pool table through the back.
There are three bars, two of which were closed up while we were in.
Cask: Robinsons Iron Maiden Trooper. Keg: Heineken, 1664, Guinness, Belhaven Best, Tennent’s Lager, Fosters, Strongbow.
The round was £18.10 for 4 pints of Trooper and 1 lager, so a fairly average £3.62 per pint.
No food was available on the night we were in. The barman said they didn’t have a chef on, but I don’t know if he meant just that night, or more generally. Their website is useless, with a menu from 2012. However, there appears to be an up-to-date menu on the Zomato page.
The cinema room was showing X-Men cartoons on this visit, but I believe that’s where the live music and open mic nights happen too. It’s available for hire.
Website: www.thebansheelabyrinth.com (a bit old and out of date)
Facebook: Their Facebook page seems to have been deleted, but The Banshee Labyrinth open mic is still up and running.
Twitter: @B_Labyrinth (old and stale since March 2013)