Edinburgh’s newest pub opened last week with a distinct Shetland flavour.
The Greenmantle, on Nicolson Street, was bought by Shetland-born Amy Williamson, 25, and her partner Grant McNeil. Undeterred by the current economic climate, they were eager to pursue their dreams of owning their own pub.
Grant had previously been manager of Edinburgh’s prestigious Prestonfield House Hotel while Amy was finding it difficult to secure a graduate job due to the credit crunch. The downturn actually helped in buying the pub as it was easier and cheaper with lease prices being significantly lower.
Formerly the Irish pub Kildare’s, the property had been boarded up for a number of months before the couple decided to breathe new life into it. They have restyled the pub, situated in close proximity to the University of Edinburgh Campus and the Student Union, into a modern Scottish bar with a fresh, lively atmosphere and contemporary decor.
The pub has retained some of its traditional touches with bare wooden beams and boasts authentic Scottish fare on the menu, a “malt of the month” and real ales to set it apart from other pubs in the area.
The signature dish is Buffalo Burger – straight from Grant’s native Fife. But not to be outdone Amy made sure her Shetland roots were on the menu with the addition of Shetland Bannocks as an alternative take on the pub-lunch sandwich. And to add more of a Shetland aspect, there are copies of The Shetland Times available for exiles to catch up on the news from home.
While the couple are keen to launch the Greenmantle as an Edinburgh community pub in the south side, they are also keen to play to the home crowd, hoping that Shetlanders in the city will find a little slice of home in the pub.
Grant said: “We would like to turn the pub into the first official Shetland pub in Edinburgh.”