Joseph Pearce: 'Go home’ graffiti sprayed onto wall of popular Edinburgh bar

Joseph Pearce, ran by Boda Bars, was targeted around midnight on Sunday night

By Rachel Mackie
Tuesday, 30th June 2020, 9:33 am
Updated Wednesday, 1st July 2020, 5:45 am

Popular Edinburgh bar Joseph Pearce, on Elm Row, has been the target of abuse as the words ‘go home’ are graffitied on the outside of the building.

The pub’s CCTV captured the culprit writing the message on the pub just before midnight on Sunday night.

The company who run Joseph Pearce and Boda Bars posted a picture of the graffiti as well as the CCTV footage on their Facebook page, asking anyone who recognises the culprit to contact them or the police.

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Joseph Pearce, ran by Boda Bars, was targeted around midnight on Sunday night

The Swedish bar is part of a chain of seven venues across the city that includes Hemma and Akva and is run by Anna and Mike Christopherson, who opened their first bar, Boda Bar on Leith Walk, 16 years ago.

Mr Christopherson told the Edinburgh Evening News: “ Anna first saw it when she went to the bar the morning after it happened.

“She was a bit shocked, we’ve been tagged before with small bits of graffiti, but this is the first time in 16 years that something like this has happened.

“I don’t know why.

“It could be the Swedish flag outside the pub, or that we’ve started doing take away pints, but then lots of places in Edinburgh are doing take away pints, so I don’t know.”

Coronavirus lockdown forced all hospitality venues in the country to close, with many, including Joseph Pearce and neighbouring bar from a different company a few doors down, Jeremiah Taproom, recently opening their doors for takeaway drinks.

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Mr Christopherson continued: “As a whole, 99.9% of Edinburgh is great, but there has been a slight change in atmosphere since we first came here.

“Edinburgh is a fabulous place, so we were surprised as people from all over the world live here.

“In general, the people here are good, but this person must have felt empowered to do this.”

The Christopherson’s are hoping that somebody might recognise the culprit from the CCTV as the jacket the person is wearing is quite distinctive.

Mr Christopherson concluded: “I think I would recognise my friend or somebody I knew from this video because of the coat.”

A police spokesperson said: "On Monday, 29 June, 2020, police received a report of a vandalism at a property in Elm Row, Edinburgh.

"The vandalism is believed to have occurred just prior to midnight on Sunday, 28 June 2020.

"Police enquiries are ongoing."

Boda Bars have also spoken out recently about their insurance company refusing to pay out, claiming that the company’s bars “cannot prove there has been a Covid outbreak within 25 miles of her premises.”

Both Joseph Pearce and Hemma are less than a mile away from the Carlton Hilton Hotel on North Bridge where the Nike Conference, thought to be the first outbreak of coronavirus in Scotland, took place.

Ms Christpherson has said that the insurance claim on her biggest bar alone, Akva at Fountainbridge, would amount to £700,000.

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