Bar and Block Steakhouse: 'Overwhelmingly positive' response to new restaurant opening in Princes Street
News of a restaurant opening in Edinburgh’s iconic Princes Street later this year has been hailed as “overwhelmingly positive” for the city centre.
Bar + Block Steakhouse has announced that it will be taking over the old New Look towards the west of Princes Street.
The business, which is preparing to be open in time for Christmas this year, was the first restaurant to have its planning permission submission approved by Edinburgh City Council this year.
Princes Street’s future has been a topic of concern in light of the new St James Quarter opening last month.
Several stores, including Next, Zara and New Look have transferred from Princes Street to St James, leaving behind empty units.
But news of Bar + Block has been seen as a positive step in boosting business in what was once Edinburgh’s premier shopping street.
Roddy Smith, chief executive of Essential Edinburgh which represents hundreds of city-centre businesses, said: “A new restaurant opening in Princes Street is overwhelmingly positive.
"If you discount McDonald’s and KFC, this new steakhouse will be the first proper restaurant on the ground floor in Princes Street which is a great appeal to people visiting the city centre.
"It will be great for footfall, with people walking past it, and it will aid the nighttime economy in the street, which is currently very quiet.
"I hope this is the first of a few new business to open here.”
Garry Clark, of the Federation of Small Businesses, also welcomed the news of the new restaurant.
He said: “The future of Princes Street is diversification, it’s not longer just a place for retail businesses, so this new restaurant is just what the city centre needs.
"There is of course the new St James Quarter and the Johnny Walker experience, but what we need to boost is a diverse offering in the middle of these two in Princes Street.
"There needs to be a reason to draw people to the city centre, and more food and drink offerings, like this new restaurant, is a great way to attract visitors and tourists from Scotland and around the UK this year.”
He added: “Hopefully this new restaurant will also mean more business for the already existing companies with stores in the area.”
Responding to news of the new restaurant opening, Labour councillor Karen Doran, representing Edinburgh city centre, said: "People have been worried about businesses in Princes Street for quite some time now, especially in the last year with the impact of covid, so news of a restaurant opening in the city centre is fantastic news – as much support as possible should be in place for it.
“I do believe Princes Street will evolve with time, and it’s great to see a new business like this to hopefully help continue the street’s success.
"It’s a beautiful spot to have a meal with it’s iconic views.”
The steakhouse will be serving cut to order 30-day aged steaks along with fresh burgers ground on-site, salads and grills.
Craft beers and cocktails will also be on the menu.
Bar + Block Steakhouse in Princes Street will be the second of its kind in Scotland following the opening of the first in St Enoch Square in Glasgow back in June.