Tom Kitchin Stockbridge gastro pub facing backlash

Tom, left, and Michaela Kitchin with business partner Philippe Nublat at their Stockbridge gastro pub. Picture: Phil Wilkinson
Tom, left, and Michaela Kitchin with business partner Philippe Nublat at their Stockbridge gastro pub. Picture: Phil Wilkinson
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HE may be one of the city’s best chefs and on the verge of launching a much-hyped restaurant in the Capital’s coolest neighbourhood, but not everyone is in love with Tom Kitchin.

The Michelin-starred cook was this week granted a seven-day-a-week 1am licence for his Stockbridge gastro pub, the Scran and Scallie.

However, the ruling has gone against the wishes of some neighbours, who have questioned the decision to let the snazzy new dining spot stay open later than many other businesses in the 
area.

Sources close to the chef have dismissed the reaction as a flash in a frying pan, ahead of the venue’s official opening on Easter Sunday.

However, Stockbridge Community Council is worried about the late-night licence.

Chairman Stephen Brennan said people fear there will be scenes of revelry at the restaurant into the small hours of the morning on weekdays.

He said: “There’s houses directly above the restaurant, and we had representations from those residents. They have concerns over the one o’clock [closing] on school nights.

“They were saying to us ‘it’s an old, rickety building, the windows all rattle’. If you’ve got a pub directly below your house and you’ve got everyone outside smoking, drinking and they’re all in high spirits, that’s an issue if you’re
trying to get to sleep.”

Nearby pubs the St Bernard, the
Bailie and Avoca all close at midnight from Monday to Thursday.

Mr Brennan said of the Scran and Scallie’s licence: “The only real objection we put in was to bring the hours that they had in line with what all the other pubs have.”

Kitchin, who became Scotland’s youngest Michelin-starred chef aged 29, has said the Comely Bank Road eaterie would be an informal dining experience that would serve pints of real ale.

The 35-year-old is opening the business with wife Michaela, Dominic Jack of the Castle Terrace Restaurant and business partner Philippe Nublat. The 138-capacity pub will serve as a chef training school.

Kitchin has teased that customers at the Stockbridge pub could encounter forgotten classics of Scottish home cooking, with chefs experimenting with tripe, home-made pork scratchings, ox tongue and sheep’s heid Scotch 
broth.

A spokeswoman from the Scran and Scallie said: “Our licence has been approved for the requirements for our business – a new public house with
dining.

“Our neighbours have been most welcoming and for us, the intention is to enhance the offering for the Stockbridge locals and complement the existing dining establishments in the area.”

The 11am-1am daily licence was granted by Edinburgh council’s licensing board on Monday.

Cllr Chas Booth said the licence had only been approved after owners met with the community council and
discussed their concerns.

He added: “They’ll have a standard condition in there about music being inaudible in any neighbouring residential property. We felt under the circumstances the local community was sufficiently well protected.”

Objections to the granting of the licence were also made by Inverleith Councillor Nigel Bagshaw, who echoed the fears of residents over late-night noise.

Not the only one in the line of fire

TOM Kitchin’s new restaurant is not the only innovative venture for Stockbridge raising the ire of critics.

The proposed redevelopment of the historic Edinburgh Academicals’ ground into a 5000-spectator stadium has also been in the line of fire.

New club facilities, retail units and a heritage museum celebrating 150 years of rugby on the site are all part of the ambitious plans.

Objectors have labelled the transformation too big and unnecessary. But Accies executive chairman Frank Spratt said: “Our aim has always been to create ‘premier sporting facilities’. We appreciate it is a team effort and engaging with the community is part of the process.”