New Edinburgh bar and restaurant will bring ‘small plates, wine and good times’ to historic Old Town

The 60-cover bar and restaurant will focus on small-plates designed for sharing

A new bar and restaurant plans to stand out from the crowd by offering “small plates, wine and good times” in the heart of Edinburgh’s historic Old Town.

Situated on the site of the former Pancho Villas on the Canongate, The Black Grape will softly launch on December 19, with the official launch taking place in mid-January.

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Award-winning entrepreneurs Stuart Hunter and Cameron Taylor have teamed up with experienced restaurateur Murray Ainslie to launch new venue.

Stuart Hunter, Cameron Taylor and Murray Ainslie outside The Black Grape on Edinburgh’s Canongate

After 12 successful years with The Compass Group, Ainslie is a highly respected figure on the Capital’s hospitality scene, having launched and operated some of the some of the city’s most popular bars and restaurants.

Speaking about The Black Grape, Ainslie said: “Of course it’s a challenge to open a restaurant in this economic climate, but we’re firm believers that quality offerings will always succeed.

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“Whether you’re a local or a tourist, we believe our great food, polished service and stylish interior will ensure we really stand out from the crowd.”

The 60-cover bar and restaurant will focus on small-plates designed for sharing, allowing guests the opportunity to try multiple dishes and fully immerse themselves in the dining experience.

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With a focus on great produce, bold flavours and quality cooking, the team are developing a menu of irresistible dishes including beef tataki, yuzu hollandaise and crispy shallots; bbq fillet tail, peppercorn sauce and black pepper oil; nduja arancini, fennel and lemon; and fried potato skins, caviar and sour cream.

A wine list that will explore some of the world’s most intriguing vineyards is being carefully-curated in conjunction with award-winning wine merchants Hallgarten. And Class Magazine’s former ‘Bartender of The Year’ Joey Medrington is collaborating with the team on a range of classic drinks that will pair perfectly with the dishes on offer.

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Hunter says: “The Black Grape is a culmination of years of dining out and socialising. We’ve created an offering inspired by some of our favourite restaurant experiences across the world.

“Each drink and dish has been carefully considered and we aim to recreate the amazing buzz that the best bars and restaurants offer.”

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Taylor adds: “Whether you’re joining us for a glass of wine and a small plate, or feasting with a group of friends, we want you to feel at home.”

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