News Shorts – July 2017

Leonardo Hotels has opened its first establishment in Scotland after investing more than £6m in the refurbishment of a former Premier Inn site in Edinburgh. The Leonardo Royal Hotel Edinburgh has 282 rooms and is located close to Haymarket railway station in the capital’s city centre.

Daniel Roger, Managing Director Leonardo Hotels Europe, said, “We are proud of the fact that the Leonardo Royal Hotel Edinburgh, coupled with our hotel in London, represent a successful market launch in the UK, which we will continue to develop in future with other projects.

“Our business model is never to open just one hotel in a new area. Since 2006, we have opened 63 hotels and we are already reviewing our plans for further growth in Scotland.

“Although the full renovation of all the rooms, the lobby and the restaurant at the Leonardo Royal Hotel Edinburgh has yet to be completed, we are already able to offer guests the trademark standards of quality, style and design associated with the Leonardo brand.” (Pictured above)

The design of the new hotel was created by interior designer Andreas Neudahm and continues the Leonardo Hotels’ philosophy of developing hotels that each have their own character with a clear link to their location.


More than £330K has being invested transforming the former New Inn on Avenue End Road, in Millerston into the Dug n Duck. The refurbishment was a joint project between Punch and publicans, Ian and Irene Knotts, who took over seven months ago. The pub also has introduced a new menu, and not just for their human customers, there’s now a dog menu too.

Meanwhile The Burrell in Glasgow’s Pollokshaws Road will re-open this month as The Boyd Roderick after an investment of £280K. The work currently underway includes extensive redecoration throughout and changes to the layout, including an extension of the kitchen. The Punch-owned pub is now being operated by Campbell Dickson and Calum Gillies of Caledonian Skye Ltd, which already runs a number of successful outlets including the Caledonian Café and the Portree Hotel on the Isle of Skye. Looking forward to welcoming customers when the Boyd Roderick opens is manager, Kevin Murphy. Kevin has more than 25 years in the pub and restaurant trade and has previously worked at Rogano and the Urban Bar and Brasserie in Glasgow.

He said: “The Boyd Roderick has always had lots of potential and this investment will allow us to transform it in to a stylish pub, serving a range of freshly prepared Scottish produce alongside a selection of quality beers and wines.”

Italian Wine Café set to open their second site

Veeno, The Italian Wine Café is opening its second site in Edinburgh at the Quartermile Development. The cafe which champions Italy’s after-work culture of drinking, nibbling and relaxing, and specialises in family grown Sicilian wine as well as authentic Spuntini including platters of meats, cheese and other appetisers imported from selected Italian producers, now has 12 outlets across the UK.

The interiors design and fit-out project is being managed by The Master Key Group. Giada Schioppa architect and director of the company said “We have come a long way with Veeno, from supporting them at the early stages of the expansion to managing the full fit-out in the recently opened venues and are looking forward to making the magic happen once again”. The new cafe is at 11 Lister Square.


This month sees the opening of Brewhemia in the basement of the Scotsman building which was formerly Sportsters Bar & Diner and City Nightclub. Owners Castle Leisure Group (CLG) have invested £2m in the new food, drink and entertainment venue. Tracey McRorie, Commercial Director of CLG explains, “Brewhemia was born from our vision to create a completely new venue concept. A place where everyone can come together to enjoy great company, delicious food, great drinks and even better entertainment, with a choice of environments across the venue that evolve throughout the day in line with our customers’ needs. We want to appeal to people of all ages and will strive to accommodate every event, from a family lunch to a night of cocktails. The ethos of Brewhemia is “For the love of adventure” and we have worked very hard to encapsulate this adventurous spirit through each and every aspect of the brand.”

The interior will have five separate areas, each with their own identity and story to tell and the building will also house six giant copper beer tanks.


Edinburgh entrepreneur Jim Tullis has realised one of his ambitions – and opened a restaurant called Spatch which has chicken at its core!

Tullis, the boss of Merchant Leisure, which also operates the Newsroom and Burgers and Beers Grillhouse, had the idea a number of years ago, and is now wowing locals and tourists alike with his spatchcocked chicken which is cooked over charcoal. The new restaurant is at Hunter Square in Edinburgh, but as well as chicken it also serves wings, fillet steaks and burgers and more.

Monty’s Bar

Monty’s Bar and Restaurant has opened on Radnor Street on the site of the former Montgomery’s Cafe. It has been totally refurbished (more next month) and offers the craft beer, wine and cocktails too as well as a menu which includes Scottish dishes. It is now being run by Ross Beattie and Danielle Dexter.


Vapiano will open its first restaurant in Scotland at St Andrew Square in Edinburgh having signed a 25-year lease. The 8,770 sq ft unit will open on South St David Street in October serving up pasta, pizza and salads.


The Grassmarket is to get a Tiki bar in the shape of 52 Canoe. The new bar will be along the lines as the former 52 Canoe in Melville Street which closed recently, and is owned by Amanda Caygill.


Yo! Glasgow Central is the latest Yo Sushi to open in Glasgow. The state of the art restaurant is situated in the former Pizza Express site at 85 West George Street.


Craig Tannock has expanded into Edinburgh with the opening of Harmonium on Henderson Street. Tannock, is credited with championing veganism in Glasgow with his Mono, Stereo and The 78 in Finnieston.


The people who brought you burger restaurant BRGR are opening another eatery in Edinburgh. This time its a pizza place called Pizza Posto and is located on Nicolson Street across from the Festival Theatre. It will open shortly.