‘Dangerous’ folk bar closed after just 12 weeks

A fractured beam has seen a floor dip
A fractured beam has seen a floor dip
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A PUB which opened just 12 weeks ago has had to shut its doors – over fears of the impact on the ceiling by dancers.

The Fiddler’s Elbow in Picardy Place, which hosts live folk music and offers a number of “shabby chic” hotel rooms, had its licence to sell alcohol suspended until it can prove the premises have been made safe.

At a meeting of Edinburgh’s licensing board, members heard that during a function at New Year, the main beam supporting the first-floor function room had fractured, causing the floor to dip by several inches.

It was agreed that the premises’ licence would be suspended until building standards officials were satisfied the premises offered no risk to those in the building, to which the pub’s operator – G1 Group – voluntarily agreed.

Manager of the Fiddler’s Elbow, Ruairi Harrington, said: “We did not do anything to endanger anyone’s life.

“I think we operated in the best way possible. There was a little dip in the floor originally. Some time in the New Year I had noticed it had got worse so I reported it to the brewery and closed off the room.

“The brewery became concerned that the room should not be used and it was checked out.

“At that stage they came to the conclusion that the room was completely off limits, but the room downstairs was OK.

“We have a main bar downstairs and a room upstairs for functions.

“That’s the way we operated for a while, then the builders came in and said they were going to come in and I closed down the bar.

“The next day buildings standards came in and I asked them for a full rundown of what was going on and they said ‘shut the bar down’.

“In consultation with the brewery, the final day of trading was February 7.”

The pub was advised that it would not be acceptable to occupy the building until adequate propping had been installed along with a structural engineer’s report on the adequacy of the propping.

Mr Harrington said it was hoped the pub, which was previously the Metropolitan cocktail bar, would reopen on the first weekend in March.

He added: “We went into a tired building and we have done extremely well in a short period of time.

“We’ve really grown the business and developed a regular clientele.”