Mystery surrounds future of Shandwick Place bar after mixed TripAdvisor reviews

The Au Bar in Shandwick Place.
The Au Bar in Shandwick Place.
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Mystery surrounds the future of the Au Bar on Shandwick Place.

The bar, right on the junction with Canning Street, is a prime location in the West End but has had mixed customer reviews on TripAdvisor and the doors have been closed for at least a fortnight.

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One member of the public, named on the site as iainTheGingerWarrior, wrote in May: "No soul to the place. Expensive, mediocre food. Was much better under the last management. Decor was better before .. far more character."

Another, by Clare M posted three weeks ago, said: "Popped in here during my lunch break today just before 1.15pm. Asked at the bar for a plain burger and tried to explain I wanted no condiments etc on it. Without even making eye contact the barman just rudely said "yeah, yeah - you had it last time". Got my drink and paid my money; went to sit at the first table but it was sticky and obviously not been wiped so had to move.

"Not many people in the bar and nearly 1/2 an hour later no sign of my order to I asked the barman when he walked past to find out how long it would be. He just said "yeah" and carried on cleaning some other tables. Five minutes later he came back and said "sorry the gas has just gone off" (so no food from the kitchen). If he had bothered to pass my order through to the kitchen when I ordered at 1.15pm, the burger and chips would have easily been cooked and served in that time.

"I said I wanted my money back including for the drink which (I felt begrudgingly) was given. This place has gone so downhill since the last management whose staff were always polite and cared about their customers. The Au Bar has now lost another customer."

But there have been some positive reviews.

Wozyhamish said: "This place used to be terrible, serving up microwaved potatoes described as baked potatoes, like large insipid big lumps with soggy pale skins, no crisp golden jackets to be seen.

"Thank goodness it's been taken over and the menu is much improved. It's a prime site on a corner with a couple of tables and smoking area outside but decor needs attention, very drab, tasteless and depressing so not exactly aesthetically pleasing. However, the staff and service is excellent and the food is quite good."

Figsy_LeBon wrote in April: "I used to pop into Au Bar before my train from Haymarket on my occasional trips to Edinburgh, and never thought much about it either way, but since its recent takeover/rebranding/make-over it's now very much my go-to Edinburgh pub.

"The place feels lovely, the staff are genuinely friendly and the food is incredible."

Hopefully there will be better news of the site soon.