Speaking to friends in the licencing trade, it appears to be a mutual feeling, Edinburgh’s bars are desperate to welcome regulars back through their doors before it is too late, the rapid spread of Covid-19 having caused a sudden, steep and in some cases what may prove to be a terminal decline in business.
Sadly, already, the loss of income due to the enforced shut down has proved too big a financial burden for some to bear. And then there’s the staff to think of, those who have been furloughed and those who have been unceremoniously let go by their employers - something worth remembering before handing your money to the offending chains when all this is over.
In the meantime, with little hope of a return to any sort of normality in sight for the next few months, the Capital’s bar and restaurant trades are showing themselves to be inventive while doing what they can to survive.
One of the latest initiatives to aid the local hospitality industry was launched this week by Robbie Allen, founder of Keep Edinburgh Thriving. Robbie has diversified his business to introduce the Quarantini Box. Each Quarantini Box is filled with ‘cocktails lovingly crafted by Edinburgh bartenders and restaurateurs as well as beers and spirits from local distilleries and breweries’.
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Serving as a critical business lifeline for the hospitality industry, Robbie plans to work with different bars and restaurants each week, allowing everyone in Edinburgh who enjoys a tipple to support various hospitality businesses in the city through the regular purchase of a Quarantini Box. The new box comes on the back of the success of his Keep Edinburgh Thriving boxes - 2,011 have sold to date, generating more than £55,000 in revenue for 47 local Edinburgh businesses in just six weeks.
So what can you expect from your Quarantini Box? Well, my one was delivered to my door on a Friday afternoon, perfect timing to welcome the weekend.
Having missed out on seeing the Pet Shop Boys live in Frankfurt earlier this week due to the ongoing pandemic, my Quarantini Box was just what I needed to accompany my consolation prize, an evening of Neil and Chris’ synth-pop tunes courtesy of DJ Boy’s live five hour PSB M-XCLOUD broadcast.
So, with It’s A Sin blasting out and the accompanying visuals projected onto the wall, I explored the contents of the box - four cocktails and one beer, all for £39, along with garnishes, serve instructions and pick ‘n’ mix. A larger box with six cocktails and one beer (£55) is also available and you can add a cocktail shaker for £5.
On this occasion the menu, which will change from week to week, consisted of an Espresso Mart-ana-tini from Buck & Birch in Macmerry, a Banana Daiquiri from Hey Palu on Bread Street, a Negroni from Old Poison Distillery at the Biscuit Factory, and a Starburst from Tonic on North Castle Street, along with a gluten free lager from Bellfield Brewery in Portobello. All, as the saying goes, hit the spot.
In buying a Quarantini Box you will also be supporting the local community further as £2 from each gift box sale will be donated to the Edinburgh Food Project.
To order your Quarantini Box visit www.keepedinburghthriving.com
EDINBURGH EVENING NEWS
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