Pubs and restaurants have slammed a bar which plans to open over Hogmanay – without any toilets.
The Tron Kirk, which is to open for four days to mark Christmas and New Year festivities, has no facilities of its own.
Revellers will instead have to use the Hunter Square public toilets, which have long since been associated with substance abuse and antisocial behaviour.
Owners of nearby pubs and restaurants are angry at the plans, with opposition from Bella Italia, the Royal Mcgregor Bar and Gordon’s Trattoria.
They fear people from the Tron, unwilling to use the public loos, will try to nip in and use theirs.
Daniela Scott, manager of Gordon’s Trattoria, said: “Everyone in the Royal Mile has been up in arms about this. There seems to be one rule for us and another for them.
“We have environmental wardens pouncing on us if we are five minutes late taking in the tables from outside and our barriers have to be a certain way.
“But the Tron doesn’t even have toilets. Everybody has to use the ones at Hunter Square, and often customers come in to other restaurants because they’re full or there’s no toilet paper in them.
“We can’t have our toilet being used as a pub toilet.”
The annoyed eaterie boss said paying customers do not want their evening ruined by loo-going gatecrashers. “Sometimes people will ask first but others just come walking in,” she added.
It is understood the Hunter Square loos will stay open late into the night to accommodate revellers who want to spend a penny.
Councillor Chas Booth voted against the plans because he was alarmed at the lack of toilets.
He said more thought should be spared for local business owners.
He said: “Presumably Dunedin Inns will have security on hand to make sure it’s only people attending the events who will be able to go in and out. In common with other licensing board members, I was very concerned, primarily with the lack of toilets.
“It’s not fair on the neighbouring businesses which go to great time and expense to make sure they have proper facilities and other requirements.
“I would have been pleased to see a permanent application come through in which the requirements could have been met.”
Edinburgh City Council culture and leisure leader Councillor Richard Lewis has revealed how the authority wants to keep the historic building in use.
As such, it now has a licence to open this Christmas and Hogmanay under the banner of the Drambuie Festival of the Extraordinary.
The event will see live music, film screenings and mixology masterclasses staged at the venue – which opened during the fringe – and is also set to open next summer.
Built between 1636 and 1647 by order of King Charles I, the Tron Kirk is to be converted into an arts and cultural centre over the next four years.
Neither Dunedin Inns nor Drambuie were available for comment.
The application to sell alcohol was approved by the licensing board despite objections from police and the building standards department.