Scotland’s first restaurant to help homeless set for weekend launch in Edinburgh

Home is set to open this weekend. Picture; contributed

Home is set to open this weekend. Picture; contributed

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A restaurant aimed at combatting homelessness is to open in Edinburgh this weekend.

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Picture; contributed

Picture; contributed

Home, the brainchild of social entrepreneur Josh Littlejohn, best known for setting up the Social Bite chain of sandwich shops, and seasoned restauranteur Dean Gassabi will open this Saturday.

Located in the west end of the city on Queensferry Street, the Social Bite/Maison Bleue collaboration Home opens to the public for the first time on Saturday, serving up a menu of French and Scottish cuisine.

It will be run on a not-for-profit basis with all profits going to charity.

Alongside a core professional staff, Home will provide training and employment programmes for members of the Social Bite Academy, the charity’s four year, paid course for homeless people.

Diners will also be encouraged to ‘Pay Forward’ meals for the homeless.

Each Monday afternoon from 3pm-5pm, the restaurant will open for a special service for the homeless.

Dean Gassabi said: “I had already secured these premises for a new Maison Bleue restaurant when Josh came to me with the proposal for Home and it was such a fantastic idea we agreed to go ahead immediately.

“This venture with Social Bite is a fantastic way for us to put something back, including helping the homeless community.”

While 50% of the profits will go directly to Social Bite, the other 50% will support other charities and good causes chosen by the staff.

Home is supported by an impressive list of leading lights in the Scottish restaurant scene, with board members including Michelin-starred chef Martin Wishart, David Wither and Simon Littlejohn.

Josh Littlejohn of Social Bite said: “Home is a unique place and we’re incredibly excited to be opening up the doors this weekend. It’s a place where you can get a first rate meal at the same time as helping some of the most vulnerable people in society. It’s a natural evolution of what we’ve been doing at Social Bite and I hope people support it in the same way.”

With 70 covers for lunch and dinner, the restaurant will offer an eclectic Auld Alliance mix of French and Scottish cuisine, similar in style and value to the that offered by Maison Bleue at its existing restaurants in the city’s Victoria Street and Moringside Road.