Sleeping with the fishes? Not yet. But David Ramsden, owner of three city-centre restaurants, tells me times are tough. No need to say so in this climate. He is by no means alone in the trade.
So tough that he is swithering about his Rose Street outpost, Seadogs, opened nearly two years. Clearly in no mood to mollycoddle a John Glibson for a noonday nibble.
“Our other two places, The Dogs and Amore Dogs in Hanover Street, are holding steady. But only just. The way things are going in the wake of a bountiful Festival, yes, we are close to on our knees here now. Some people are trying toreassure me with Christmas-isn’t-far-away.
“But people don’t have the money to spend. We’re all in the same boat. We’re down to the bone with our prices. Seadogs customers are going for the classic fare, fish and chips, during the day. Evenings we see more of the business community.”
Ramsden, pictured below, is not ranting, though close to it. He’s telling me through his loud-hailer: “Don’t have me crying wolf but the captain of the ship would have you know that at this rate Seadogs conceivably could go down with all hands.”
He had FitzHenry in Leith for seven years, before three in Morrison Street with Rogue. He says cynically of that misadventure “yes, I’ve been there”.
The good news, his dogs (Fez, a sloughie, and Biz, an Ibizan hound) are eating well, as is Roz, his wife, who walks them. Meanwhile, it’s all hands to the pump.
On the tiles
A relaxative headline? Can’t help smiling whenever I hear about meteorites. One crashed into the sea off the Kent coast at the weekend.
Invariably reminds me of a suspected meteorite that that landed on a Corstorphine bungalow.
The event inspired a sub-editor on this paper at North Bridge to write the headline Steaming hot lump hits city roof.