John Gibson: No1 brings class touch to the Mile

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It’s a sobering prospect, opening a pub these days. But Grant MacDonald is an exception. He has opened one in the Old Town where it’s a credit to the area – the Royal Mile. No 1 High Street, pictured, is on the corner with Jeffrey Street.

Truly a fillip, a beacon, to the Mile, it has class and manager George Cowell-Smith, a Londoner, seems the right man for the job.

“We expect a healthy mix of locals and, being smack on the tourist trail, no shortage of visitors. We opened two months ago, it’s a quality investment and it’s paying off,” says George.

A long-time landlord, MacDonald also owns Mathers at the West End and Ye Olde Inn at Davidson’s Mains.

No 1 High Street formerly was the Tass and the Royal Archer.

King of the King’s

For many a year you couldn’t talk about the King’s without dragging Stewart Murray’s name into it. Stewart, pictured below, who died last week, was manager there for 17 years, catering to every whim of the bill-toppinng stars . . . Stanley Baxter, Jimmy Logan, Rikki Fulton, Jack Milroy.

He loved showbiz and was dinner-suited in management at the Lyceum before settling at the King’s and then becoming Edinburgh’s head of theatres and halls until he retired in 1993.

Stewart in retirement was business manager of Bohemians Lyric Opera Company. Expect a large turn-out for the funeral at Warriston on Saturday at 11.