Indoor street food market at former New Town nightclub given green light

Montpeliers will operate its new Eastside premises at the former home of the Opal Lounge nightclub on George Street.
Montpeliers will operate its new Eastside premises at the former home of the Opal Lounge nightclub on George Street.
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The bosses behind a popular bar have been given permission to bring an indoor street food market to a former New Town nightclub.

Montpeliers will operate its new Eastside premises at the former home of the Opal Lounge nightclub on George Street after receiving the backing of the Edinburgh Licensing Board.

The “alternative to clubbing” concept behind Eastside includes street food, dancing, craft beer and cocktails – as well as live DJs and free pool tables. Eastside will be open seven days a week from 5pm until 3am and 10pm until 3am on Mondays.

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Niall Hassard, speaking on behalf of the company, said: “It’s a fully wholesale change – there’s quite a lot going on in the operating plan.

“It’s a very exciting venue in George Street – one of the first of its kind in Scotland. Food and entertainment are very much at the heart of it.”

Kiosks will welcome customers to the premises and bosses hope they will provide a “Brick Lane London feeling” made up largely of local independent traders.

“It really gives you that feeling of an indoor street market”, added Mr Hassard. “They have an area that could be set up as a stage and there will be a DJ position. At the back there’s the cocktail bar.

“Montpeliers always see themselves as innovators. There’s not a huge market for the traditional  nightclub but there’s a massive upsurge for quality entertainment and being able to bring that street food market inside, particularly with the weather in Scotland, is a bit of a win-win.”

As part of the licensing conditions, children will not be permitted in the premises after 9pm and baby changing facilities will be provided.

Cllr Steve Burgess said: “I think our concern was mainly about the children access and how they would protect them.

“I think we had an assurance that that would be provided and I welcome the restriction of 9pm for children.”

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