Ian Rankin says he regrets not buying his own pub in Edinburgh

Ian Rankin has spoken of his regret about never buying his very own pub - especially now lockdown is preventing him from visiting his favourite Edinburgh watering-hole.
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Speaking to Lockdown Litfest's Paul Blezard's podcast, the Capital-based writer said he's been dying to get back to his beloved Oxford Bar in Edinburgh's New Town for a pint after two months of social distancing rules.

The bestselling author was recently pictured outside the Young Street boozer enjoying a pint on the occasion of his 60th birthday - although he couldn't actually purchase a tipple from the bar itself because of the lockdown, so had brought along his own instead.

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Now, the Covid-19 pandemic has left him regretting not buying his own pub in Auld Reekie.

Ian Rankin outside his favourite Edinburgh pubIan Rankin outside his favourite Edinburgh pub
Ian Rankin outside his favourite Edinburgh pub

He said: “I could murder a pint right now. I can’t believe that I still haven’t bought my own pub and, of course, am now really regretting not having done so. I’m missing it.”

"Am I being serious? It would be a damn good idea, especially at a time like this.”

The creator of the Inspector Rebus novels revealed that he first visited The Oxford Bar while he was writing the first Rebus novel, Knots and Crosses.

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He said: “I was introduced to The Oxford by a student friend of mine. He was a part-time barman and I was just at the start of writing the first Rebus novel.

“I looked at it and thought, ‘This is where my guy would drink.’ It’s no bells, no whistles, central Edinburgh, hidden away, there’s no music, no jukebox, the TV is hardly ever on.

"It was all about conversation, a nice safe place to have a chat, wind down, and escape from the real world.

“So that’s where Rebus drinks and I have been drinking there since about 1984 or 85, I guess.

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"I had my stag party in there in July 86 before I got married.

“I had my last drink in there the day before the lockdown.

"I happened to walk past and thought, ‘I’ll just see how they’re doing’."

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