Edinburgh pubs plan major kitchen projects to kick-start higher-end food sales

Two multiple operators have taken on Edinburgh pubs and are undertaking major refurb projects – including significant kitchen schemes – with Star Pubs & Bars worth hundreds of thousands of pounds. 

The move is part of a £960,000 investment in four pubs being made in the Edinburgh area by the pub company in the first quarter of 2019, which will create around 40 new jobs as a result.

The Annfield and The Victoria are both having kitchens installed to enable them to capitalise on the growth in eating out in pubs and will also offer Barista style coffee, broadening their appeal throughout the day.

Star Pubs & Bars is investing £325,000 in a £500,000 refurbishment of The Annfield with Scottish multiple operator, Neil Douglas who also has the award winning Ardnamurchan in Glasgow.

The pub, which has been closed for a couple of years, is to reopen at the end of March as a neighbourhood bar serving a range of gourmet burgers to suit all tastes.

It will be renamed Basil’s, a tongue in cheek reference to 1960s modernist architect Sir Basil Spence and will have some funky 60s style interiors mixed with the concrete cool of Basil Spence’s brutalist designs.

The nine-week refurbishment, which is already underway, will see the interior opened up to create one large eating and drinking area with 80 covers.

Mr Douglas said: “The pub needed investment for it to realise its potential. It’s an exciting opportunity to create a real resource for the community as the area is currently under provisioned, especially with the new harbour development.”

The Victoria, which has been closed since September, will reopen at the end of March with the look and feel of a dynamic city centre bar and a distinct European offer. Different to any of the traditional pubs in the locality, it will be renamed Damm27 to reflect its change in direction.

Other pubs benefiting from investment in the first quarter include The Scotsman on Cockburn Street which reopened last week having had its décor, bar and floor upgraded; and The Spylaw in Colinton, popular with walkers and cyclists, where outside dining booths are being installed as part of a complete six-week refurbishment which commences on 4 March.

The company also plans to invest a further £340,000 in The Phoenix on Broughton Street, changing it from a sports bar into a top end stylish pub with a name change offering great quality food and drink.

Brian Davidson, Star Pubs & Bars regional operations director (pictured above outside The Annfield) said: “We’re delighted to be kicking off 2019 by investing in some fantastic Edinburgh pubs, as invested pubs, especially those offering food, are good news not just for licensees who run them but for the communities they serve. Investment attracts new licensees, which then creates new jobs, boosts local businesses and helps brings people of all ages together throughout the day and evening.”

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