For the entire tour this pub has been closed due to a fire last summer. As luck would have it, this was their unofficial opening night, a practice run with the new staff, on the last night of our tour. We weren’t sure why it took so long to reopen, as we all thought it hadn’t really changed much, and in fact there was still an advert for The World’s End film in the gents toilets.
It’s a large, fairly standard basement bar obviously designed to look like it wasn’t designed. There’s a mixture of textures, materials, nearly neutral colours and furniture, but it still looks a bit formulaic.
It was very busy considering it was their first night, and a Tuesday at that. The World Cup may have helped slightly, but they must have been enticing folk in. Gav had wangled an “invite” to this dry-run night, with a complimentary round of drinks thrown in. If all the folk in the bar managed the same trick that would have been a hefty bar bill, but would have gone a long way to explaining the high turnout.
As a Stonegate Pubs joint it’s a sister bar to The Chanter on Bread Street, and a cousin of The Living Room and The Slug & Lettuce.
Casks: Inveralmond Ossian, Barney’s Volcano IPA, Stewart’s Pentland IPA, 80 and Edinburgh Gold. Kegs: Amstel, Heineken, John Smith’s, Carlsberg, Tennent’s Lager, Carling, Guinness, Strongbow. Three kegs were singled out as “craft”: West St. Mungo, Harviestoun Schiehallion, Innis & Gunn Toasted Oak.
Since our round was free, I don’t know how much a pint was. It’s very likely that it’ll be similar to The Chanter where it was £3.45 for a pint of cask beer.
The invite Gav got us included free food too. This involved picking something at random out of a tombola. I’m fairly sure this practice hasn’t continued past their training period. Unfortunately, our food didn’t actually show up due to some mix-up. We got our free beers, and hadn’t paid for the food anyway, so it was no big deal. This was why they were doing a dry-run, I suppose.
Anyway, the menu was a glossy affair with lots to choose from and several special offers like 2 mains for £10, 2 for 1 desserts, etc. They had pub classics, burgers, hot dogs and more, mostly around the £7-£8 mark, almost all under £10.
There are quite a few large tables out on Rose Street and a couple on Castle Street.
There’s a good view from outside on Castle Street.