"Heartbroken" owner of popular bar and music venue Leith Depot confirms it will be closing
Popular bar and music venue Leith Depot has today confirmed it is planning on closing its doors for good later in the year.
Owners of the Leith Walk business, which has been open for almost four years, will call last orders at the bar when its lease ends on October 1, 2019.
That will mean that all three businesses housed in the Drum Property Group (DPG) have closed or will be closing within a matter of months of one another.
Co-owner Peter Mason, 51, told the Edinburgh Evening News: "Our lease runs out on October 1, so we'll have to move out then.
"We'd be open to re-negotiating with Drum as the location here is perfect, but so far they have been unwilling to negotiate."
The closure is likely to spell the end of the Depot brand as Peter admits that opening in another outlet would be difficult.
He said: "With the gigs we put on we've become a pretty well-known music venue and bar - but it's difficult to relocate in Edinburgh."
DPG put plans forward to demolish the existing block and build student flats as part of redevelopment in the area, however, the council rejected the proposals.
Since announcing its plan just over a year ago, DPG has systematically evicted tenants at breakpoints in their leases.
That meant that Leith Depot would be the only outlet still open in the property.
And for Peter and his co-owners, Julie Carty and Patrick Kavanagh, the loss of businesses on Leith Walk is impacting the overall feel of the busy street.
He added: "I'm a resident of Leith and I think these businesses closing will have a huge impact on the area.
"One thing that makes Leith so special is its real mix of businesses. Leith Walk has an eclectic mix of outlets and I'll be heartbroken when we have to close.
"It's heartbreaking that the Leith Walk Cafe closed - it's a real community hub."
A spokesman for Drum Property Group said: "Since purchasing the Stead’s Place site, Drum Property Group has worked hard to respond to the council’s own brief to bring new investment and development to this neglected part of Leith Walk.
"Our high-quality proposal was shaped by extensive consultation with local people, groups and businesses and received high levels of public support, as well as being recommended for approval by the council’s own planning team. As such, we remain wholly committed to transforming the site following the council’s own guidelines and have lodged an appeal with the Scottish Government challenging the council’s subsequent decision not to grant planning approval.
"From the start, Drum has been entirely straightforward, transparent and consistent regarding our plans for the site. The remaining tenants have had over a year's notice to vacate and we have made it categorically clear that there won’t be any contractual extensions to their tenancies, nor will we be reopening any vacant shop units, until we have resolution on our development proposals for the entire site.”