Haymarket institution Diane’s Pool Hall closes its doors

Diane's Pool Hall on Morrison Street.
Diane's Pool Hall on Morrison Street.
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The Haymarket institution with an infamous reputation has taken its cue to close and Diane’s Pool Hall has now shut its doors for the final time.

Owner, Diane McNair has chalked up 31 years at the helm of the often notorious family-run pool hall and bar and is now ready for retirement.

But punters who turned up hoping for a final 20p game were disappointed to find the doors already closed.

One regular who asked not to be named said: “We can’t believe it, a few of the boys turned up for their pool league games as normal only to find out the doors had been shut and the place had been sold.

“Knew it had been up for sale but none of us expected this – it’s caused a real stushy for the league and it’s a real shame after all these years but I guess things change.”

The business was founded by Diane’s father and has been owned by the family ever since.

Diane took over from her father in 1986 but is now ready to retire.

On the market for £850,000, award-winning Irish music and sport bar Malones is now in the frame to re-open in its place.

The venue will be closed for a complete refurbishment with bosses hoping to open in time for the Six Nations rugby tournament.

Malones head of marketing Aoibhinn Cullen said the venture will bring an exciting new venue to the scene at Haymarket.

She said: “It’s been an exciting few days and we are looking forward to opening Malones in the former Diane’s Pool Hall.

“The bar will be closed for refurb for the next month, or two months at the most and then hopefully we will be open for the Six Nations.

“It is a fantastic location for rugby fans.

“Since selling Malones on Forrest Road last year and setting up the Malones on the Mall bar on top of Waverley Mall, we’ve been on the lookout for the perfect venue, and this is it!”

The pop-up ‘Malones on the Mall’ bar will open on November 17 as part of Edinburgh’s Festival Village: Waverley, the most recent addition to the Christmas Market scene.

And although the focus of the new permanent bar will mimic Malones brand of live music and sport, there will be a nod to the bar’s previous owners.

Aoibhinn added: “Given how long Diane’s was there for, we will definitely be keeping a couple of the pool tables in operation.

“It was such an institution and it wouldn’t be fair to get rid of them all.”

Since opening, Diane’s has offered pool players a game for just 20p, never raising the price.

The bar’s loyal clientele hailed it the “best pool hall in Edinburgh” with many disappointed to see go.

Sean J Stocks Hotfortunes said on Facebook: “So sad to see the auld haunt close its doors. All the best Stuart and Diane in your future endeavours.”

fiona.pringle@jpress.co.uk