New owners at landmark pub in Edinburgh

The Golf Tavern at Bruntsfield. Picture: Ian Rutherford

The Golf Tavern at Bruntsfield. Picture: Ian Rutherford

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One of the Capital’s oldest pubs has been bought by Scotland’s largest hospitality empire.

The G1 Group, which boasts more than 50 venues across the country, has added the Golf Tavern to its portfolio.

The leisure chain runs several well-known venues across Edinburgh including Ghillie Dhu, Biddy Mulligan’s, The Bothy and the Grassmarket Hotel.

It also owns Cabaret Voltaire and Espionage nightclub plus the Inn on the Mile and the Murrayfield and Stay Central hotels, as well as The Granary restaurant at the Shore in Leith.

Founded in 1456 and previously known as the Golf Hotel and Ye Olde Golf Tavern, the Tavern was used as the Bruntsfield Links Society clubhouse from 1788 until the early 19th century.

A spokesman for G1 said: “Throughout the years, we have developed a special interest in rejuvenating and reinventing Grade A and B-listed buildings of historical and architectural importance. Some of our favourite spaces include a former bank, an institutional prison and a golf club factory.

“And when you set foot in the historic Golf Tavern, you are stepping into a little piece of Scottish history.”

Melanie Main, Green councillor for the ward, said the Golf was “more than just a local pub”, describing it as “local and historical landmark”.

She said: “The current owners have been very supportive of community golfing and other activities on the nearby Bruntsfield Links.

“So I hope the new owners continue that tradition and make sure the Golf stays true to its locality and resists the temptation to become yet another chain pub.”

The Speratus Group, which sold the pub, said that the Golf Tavern would operate “as usual” and that jobs were safe under new management.

Martin Brown, managing director of the Speratus Group – which owns the Boozy Cow in Frederick Street – described the deal as “hugely positive” amid a “challenging economic climate”.

“These are exciting times at the Speratus Group as we focus on reinvesting in our venues as well as opening additional Boozy Cow burger and cocktail bars in new locations in Scotland and England,” he said.

“We are moving ahead with our plans to expand the Boozy Cow concept and will be opening our new venue in Stirling in early September, and we are actively exploring opportunities in other cities across the UK.”

The Speratus Group now owns bars across the country including Auld Hundred, 99 Hanover Street and Copper Blossom in Edinburgh, as well as its Boozy Cow burger and cocktail bars in Aberdeen and Edinburgh, which donate all profits to charity.