Leith’s trading heritage is at the heart of new community pub the Nauticus which has opened in the former Parlour pub on Duke Street.
Iain McPherson, co-owner of two of Edinburgh’s top cocktail bars, Panda & Sons on Queen Street and Hoot The Redeemer on Hanover Street, is one half of the duo who have brought a flavour of Leith’s past into a fresh environment.
He has teamed up with friend and fellow industry connoisseur Kyle Jamieson to launch the bar, where the anchor is Scottish produce.
Iain and Kyle have both worked extensively in the wider pub industry and decided to take on their first pub together.
Taking over as tenants for community pub company Admiral Taverns, they got the keys in April and The Nauticus opened on Friday.
Kyle said: “The pub is a real celebration of the history and local community of Leith.
“We wanted to create a very stylish but comfortable pub where people from all ages could enjoy local, best in class Scottish produce.
“It’s been fantastic to have the opportunity to create our vision for the pub.
“We’re delighted to have the chance to be able to showcase and support so many local suppliers and we are really looking forward to seeing the reaction of our customers.”
Drawing on Leith’s trading heritage as a key port and taking inspiration from the spice trade, the gin craze, wine and sherry importation and the more recent whisky boom, the Nauticus has sourced almost 90 per cent of its menus from Scottish-made or Scottish-owned brands including Cross Brew coffee liqueur, made in Edinburgh, and Electric Spirit Co gin from Leith.
Even the bar stools are upholstered in Harris Tweed.
Iain said he has never worked in a community pub before and has been bowled over by the welcome they new venture has received by locals.
“Leith is the most evolving area of Edinburgh at the moment and we wanted to highlight seasonal Scottish food and drinks.
“We are surrounded by a good community and it’s been great meeting so many neighbours and getting really good feedback – some have even been in every day since we opened.”
And championing local suppliers, the Nauticus serve Scottish charcuterie from the East Coast Cured Meats Company on Restalrig Road, pork pies from local piemaker Pie Dolly and cheese boards from Old Town born, IJ Mellis.
“The whole way through our menu it is all Scottish products or Scottish owned companies – that’s how we worked it and we’re very proud,” Iain explained. “We have carefully sourced even our soft drinks so there is a Scottish link, including Walter Gregor’s tonic water and Arbroath-born Bon Accord – although we’re yet to source a Scottish cola.”
Admiral Taverns business development manager David Balmanno, added: “On behalf of Admiral I would like to congratulate Kyle and Iain on the transformation at the Nauticus.
“They have a strong vision for the pub and have turned it back into a real asset for the local community.”