Greyfriars Bobby bar bans dogs

Tracie Knight and Tenzin outside the pub. Picture: Ian Georgeson
Tracie Knight and Tenzin outside the pub. Picture: Ian Georgeson
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Greyfriars Bobby would go thirsty in the bar that trades off his image because the well-known tavern on Candlemaker Row is a dog-free zone.

The bar’s management has come under fire after dog-owner Tracie Knight popped into the pub overlooking the famous Greyfriars Bobby statue for a quick drink 
during the Festival. But when the 34-year-old was told her loyal mutt Tenzin was not welcome, she couldn’t believe the irony.

Bosses at the bar – sited in a row of Georgian houses where the beloved pooch scavenged for food in the late 19th century – said that dogs were welcome in their outside seating area but not inside because 
some customers were “genuinely uncomfortable” around pets and the pub only has one room.

Ms Knight, who says her dog is often described as a blonde look-a-like to the famous terrier, said: “I just laughed. I couldn’t believe it – they trade off their connection with Greyfriars Bobby.

“Tenzin’s no trouble and in fact he’s less trouble than some drunk people.

“I don’t see why more places in Edinburgh don’t let dogs in – it’s a shame that people have to leave them outside.”

The Greyfriars Bobby Bar website boasts that it is “famous for the city’s most loyal watchdog,” who is buried next door in the Greyfriars Kirkyard. After being turned away from the pub, Ms Knight and Tenzin went to see a Fringe show at the City Cafe, on Blair Street, which lays out bowls and doggy treats for its four-legged guests.

A growing number of bars are welcoming dogs in the Capital with the city growing a reputation for its pooch-friendly facilities.

Dugs ‘n’ Pubs, an online guide to dog-friendly venues across Edinburgh, lists more than 300 bars which open their doors to pets.

A Dugs ‘n’ Pubs spokesman said each business is allowed to determine whether to permit animals but questioned the policy at Greyfriars Bobby’s Bar.

He said: “Edinburgh is the most dog-friendly city in Scotland and therefore to have a pub named after its most famous dog, which doesn’t itself allow dogs in, is bizarre to say the least.”

A spokesman for Greyfriars Bobby’s Bar said the policy has been in place for at least a decade, and added: “The pub name is indeed inspired by the legend of Bobby the Skye terrier.

“However some guests are genuinely uncomfortable around dogs and the pub has just the one room. There is an outdoor seating area where dogs are very welcome and we obviously welcome assistance dogs too.”