The former Jock’s Lodge in Edinburgh is to reopen as a ‘blues fusion bar’ thanks to a major £280k refurbishment by Heineken-owned Star Pubs & Bars and Edinburgh pub company, Caygill and Smith Ltd.
The new venue at the junction of Jock’s Lodge and Smokey Brae will be renamed Barrelhouse Bar and Diner. It will host blues fusion bands from around the world and will offer Cajun and BBQ food with a Scottish twist.
The Barrelhouse Bar and Diner is scheduled to reopen at the end of November after a six-week refurbishment. The project will create 20 jobs and is part of a £2m investment that Star is making in its Scottish pubs this year.
Licensee Amanda Caygill, who also operates Espy at Portobello and 52 Canoes in the city centre, is thrilled to be giving new life to the former Jock’s Lodge, which closed three years ago.
She said, “Edinburgh is crying out for a blues venue and I’m passionate about barbecuing, I think the two could work really well together. Jocks Lodge is the perfect location – it’s a great community with a need for a restaurant and bar for locals but it’s also easily accessible for customers from other parts of the city.”
Outside the rundown pub will be completely redecorated and renovated improving the look of the neighbourhood and complementing the city’s regeneration of the area’s streets, including work on a beer garden.
Inside, the pub will be stripped back and refurbished in a New Orleans-style design with booth seating and a stage for bands. A new kitchen and bakery will be installed so the pub can serve food throughout the day. Food will be cooked from scratch using seasonal Scottish produce and a vegetable garden will be planted to serve the kitchen.
A state of the art Heineken SmartDispense system, which guarantees consistent pours of draught beer and cider, will also be installed as part of a cellar upgrade.
Star Pubs & Bars Managing Director Lawson Mountstevens, said, “It’s great that such an experienced Edinburgh operator wants to join us in reviving the Jock’s Lodge’s fortunes. Caygill and Smith are known for their imaginative and creative approach as well as outstanding food and service and I’ve every confidence they’ll create another distinctive and popular venue for Edinburgh.”