WITH its stunning views over the Forth and award-winning fine dining, it has built a reputation as one of the classiest restaurants in the Capital.
So it will come as a shock to the loyal customers who considered Oloroso a second home that the George Street venue is set to be replaced with a VIP lounge made famous by reality TV show Desperate Scousewives.
• Oloroso looks set to close after more than ten years of business
• Palm Sugar cocktail bar, a popular haunt for footballers and reality TV personalities, seeking to take its place
The upmarket restaurant is to close its doors in a few weeks after more than a decade as one of the preferred dining spots for authors and arts impresarios. In their place could come wannabe-Wags, as it is expected that a branch of the Palm Sugar cocktail bar – popular with reality TV personalities and Premiership footballers – will be taking its place, alongside Thai restaurant Chaophraya on the restaurant site. The Palm Sugar chain’s flagship Liverpool branch, decked out in mirrored walls and a decadent colour scheme, has become a favourite with the stars of TV flop Desperate Scousewives.
In fact, the Scousewives liked the venue so much that they recently launched their own “Scouse boutique” there, with X Factor runner-up Marcus Collins and Jenny Thompson – the former prostitute who found fame after sleeping with footballer Wayne Rooney – among those in attendance.
It appears the Edinburgh branch is set to follow a similar formula, with plans submitted to the council including outdoor flags and a gaudy bright orange lighting strip to illuminate the upper floors.
The bar – which offers a £10,000 cocktail that includes a luxury holiday at a resort off the coast of Phuket – will all be a far cry from Oloroso, which chef and proprietor Tony Singh announced yesterday is likely to be closing in a few weeks’ time. Mr Singh blamed the economic climate on the anticipated closure of the eatery, which won awards for its bar, restaurant and private dining after opening in December 2001.
Mr Singh, one of the Capital’s best-known chefs, said: “I’m extremely proud of what we have achieved at Oloroso over the last ten years. Running my own restaurant has been an unforgettable experience. However, the current economic climate is incredibly challenging and in all honesty it has made me question my future, as well as the future of my staff and suppliers.
“Today marks the commencement of a consultation period with the staff during which my proposal to close the restaurant will be discussed.”
Nobody from the Palm Sugar or Chaophraya chains could be reached for comment last night.
Tony Singh profile
Tony Singh was brought up in Leith and trained at the Capital’s Telford College, before he started his career working in kitchens around the city.
He worked on the Royal Scotsman train and at Greywalls Hotel in East Lothian.
At the age of just 28, he became head chef on the Royal Yacht Britannia when it arrived in Edinburgh. He is known for his contemporary Scottish cooking, which incorporates influences from all around the world.
In 2000 he was named as ITV’s Chef of The Year, and has appeared on other television shows including Ready Steady Cook.
Earlier this year, he created a Braille recipe book.