Bistro to bus diners from nearby towns in bid to make Haddington a ‘food destination’

The site of the Poldrate bistro.
The site of the Poldrate bistro.
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THE new operators of a restaurant and bistro in Haddington are investigating introducing a shuttle bus to bring in patrons from out of town.

The Poldrate Bistro has been granted a number of occasional alcohol licences to allow it to operate while it applies for a permanent one.

And at a meeting of East Lothian Licensing Board, Martin Blackburn from Blackburn and Bonar Ltd, who have taken over the restaurant, said they were looking at making their business and Haddington a food and drink 
destination.

He told the board that they were investigating introducing a shuttle bus which would bring people in from outlying towns and villages.

Mr Blackburn added his business partner Dougie Bonar had been talking to an Edinburgh tour operator who is keen to bring tours to the East Lothian town.

The application for an alcohol licence for the restaurant, on Poldrate, comes four years after it was closed.

Mr Blackburn told board members that Mr Bonar was well known for his high quality food.

He had been a chef at the restaurant in the past and also worked at the Scotsman Hotel, in Edinburgh.

He said: “The quality of our chef’s food is very high and we are offering something a little different.”

The board heard there was one representation which did not object to the licence but raised concerns about parking, noise from outdoors 
drinking in the courtyard at night and the impact of the licensed premises on other businesses.

Mr Blackburn told the board he welcomed all comments from residents and had been engaging with them to address concerns.

He added: “I have moved into one of the flats above the restaurant with my family. I have young kids and I have no intention of having loud noise outside.

“At the end of the day if the residents are not happy it will not be a happy working environment for us.”

Mr Blackburn said no drinking would be allowed outside after 10pm and there was an option to restrict it further to an 8pm termination if there were issues.

The board granted the occasional licences which run until June.