Johnnie Walker has promised to create the “best bar in the world” in the “best brand attraction in the world” overlooking Edinburgh Castle – in the former House of Fraser store on Princes Street. The Johnnie Walker visitor attraction, Johnnie Walker Edinburgh, is part of a £150m investment for Scotland by parent company Diageo and is expected to be completed by Christmas 2020.
Speaking at the recent Scottish Tourism Alliance conference in Glasgow, Greg Klingaman, global reserve retail director at Diageo, also said that the brand was “not shy about (its) aspirations” and that the bar will boast “360 degree views” of the city from a rooftop bar extension.
Said Greg, “We want this to be a new cultural and social hub for Edinburgh and Scotland. We want to have things that people locally will be interested in, including our 250-capacity events space, which will be available for concerts, theatre and festivals.
“The rooftop bar will basically have 360 views all round Edinburgh. You won’t find anywhere with better views than this anywhere else in the city.”
He continued, “We’re really excited about what we’re doing in Edinburgh. It’s going to be much more than a whisky tour. We’re not just taking over a few floors of this building. We have 7000 square metres to work with. With a brand the size of Johnnie Walker our feeling was: ‘Go big or go home.’ That’s what we’ve done.”
The development will also include an academy and an archive featuring exhibits.