Historic Hearts pub to be demolished as developers plan new flats

The Horseshoe pub on Gorgie Road will be demolished. Picture: Greg Macvean

The Horseshoe pub on Gorgie Road will be demolished. Picture: Greg Macvean

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A FAVOURITE watering hole of Hearts fans is set to be demolished and replaced by new flats.

Believed to be the oldest remaining building in Gorgie, the Horseshoe Inn, formerly Luckies, would be razed to make way for the development of 11 flats.

Plans have been submitted to the city council to transform the distinctive pub building into four three-bedroom, four two-bedroom and three single-bedroom flats.

Originally home to a joinery business in the 1960s, the site was bought over by Richard Farley, of Farleys windows, as a workshop and builders’ yard, which closed in 1975.

Permission was then granted to change Farleys into a licensed restaurant and lounge bar in April 1979.

Although, according to former manager and Hearts fan Callum Anderson, who ran the Jambo stronghold, Luckies, from 1996 to 2003, local tales say the site was used for refreshments long before the 1980s.

“Allegedly it was used back in the days of horses and carts for people coming into the city,” he said.

“Stories have always circulated of it being a staging post but I am sure it looks very different to what it looked like then.”

Planners say an attractive new flat development could be a “distinct feature” at the Hutchison Crossway – the gateway to the Gorgie area – with the proposals also featuring parking for residents.

The redevelopment will be in the form of an L-shaped block which will be four storeys high.

Architects Format Design said the building had “no particular architectural merit and has lost its original setting”.

Bob Tait of Format Designs said: “The bottom line is drinking habits have changed and the owners, Caledonian Heritable Ltd, are looking at the options available to them at this premises.

“It is a locally-based company and they do take the concerns of local people into consideration during their decision making.”

Owned by Caledonian Heritable Ltd, the Horseshoe Inn is headed by Leith-born pub tycoon Kevin Doyle who has an empire of hundreds of pubs including two other notable Hearts supporters’ pubs – The Roseburn and the Tynecastle Arms.

Notifications were sent to neighbours and local businesses on December 19 and the council has received one objection to the proposal.

Mr Anderson, who now manages Dickens on Dalry Road, said he would be saddened to see another pub in the area go.

“There are many great memories from that pub including of when my son was born on December 6, 1998,” he said.

“The crowd of regulars bought me a bottle of malt whisky, which I kept until his 18th birthday this year, and we raised a wee glass together to the lovely guys who bought me it.

“Now the Wheatsheaf Inn and the Chesser Inn have closed there is nothing in that area now.”

fiona.pringle@jpress.co.uk