A RENOWNED pub which closed its doors in mysterious circumstances is set to reopen by the end of the month.
The historic Cramond Inn shut unexpectedly two weeks ago, leaving regular punters and local residents surprised.
But the Evening News can today reveal that the move stemmed from a row between the Yorkshire-based licensees Samuel Smith’s and the building’s landlord.
As the argument heated up, the pub’s licence was returned to the city council by the landlord, forcing its closure on legal grounds.
Councillor Norman Work, who sits on the city council’s licensing committee, said the row was on the verge of being resolved, allowing the pub to reopen within the next few weeks.
He said: “There has been a dispute – there’s no doubt about it.
“Normally, the company or brewery holds the premises’ licence, but for some reason, Samuel Smith’s allowed the landlord to have the premise’s licence.
“If somebody surrenders that licence, the council have to accept it.
“There was a dispute between the landlord and Samuel Smith’s and the pub’s licence was surrendered to the council.”
It is understood the pub will be allowed to reopen after the next licensing board meeting on September 29.
Community leaders bemoaned the closure of the Cramond Inn, which is seen as a key hub in the area. And Cllr Work said: “My primary concern is for the employees at the inn. This is a great pub, and its closure has had an effect on Cramond.”
Stefan Slater, vice- president of the Cramond Association heritage group, said the historic spot was a focal point for the community.
He said: “We get a lot of visitors, and it’s a very useful focal point.
“The sailing club is down there, and there are wonderful views across the Forth to Fife, and to the nearby Cramond Island.
“The Cramond Inn will be a very great loss to Cramond and to Edinburgh if it is not reopened.”
Nestled near the causeway that thousands of yearly visitors use to walk to neighbouring Cramond Island, the B-listed Cramond Inn has long played a vital role in the tight-knit village.
The building itself once served as a coach house, and is now revered by travel guides as one of Edinburgh top watering holes.
Local records indicate a pub has been on site since the early 1700s.
Samuel Smith’s, which brands itself as “Yorkshire’s oldest brewery”, operates some 300 pubs across the UK, however, the chain is known to allow each of its pubs to maintain a certain degree of autonomy, and company signage is kept to a minimum.
The firm declined to comment on The Cramond Inn’s closure.