Once-popular and ancient pub hunts for new owners

NEW owners are being lined up to take over one of Edinburgh’s oldest pubs, which has been closed down for weeks.

The Peacock Inn at Newhaven, which dates back to 1767, shut its doors after owner Peter Carnie Inns was served with a winding-up order at Edinburgh Sheriff Court over the non-payment of a catering bill.

Liquidator French Duncan, which is overseeing the sale, said today it was optimistic the famous pub would open again soon.

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Residents in the area spoke of their sadness at the demise of the pub, which was extensively refurbished following a fire in 2010.

It is understood French Duncan, which has been appointed for three months, will be speaking to new parties about taking over the premises.

Liquidator Eileen Blackburn said: “It will be up to the new directors to say exactly what will happen with it.

“I’m sure that they would hope to open as soon as possible.”

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Former patrons in Newhaven said they were upset to lose what had been a popular watering hole.

One, Frank Ferri, described it as a “once very historical and popular restaurant”, but said the refurbishment may have cost it some of the original custom.

“Major changes were made,” he said. “Yes, the decor was beautiful but too open-plan and impersonal and the popular reasonably priced menu had changed dramatically and seemed to target the higher end of the market and was more nouveau cuisine.

“Many regulars stopped going after that.”

The liquidators have also assumed control of the owners’ other premises in the Capital, the Grandville in Trinity.

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Peter Carnie Inns is run by Yvonne Carnie and her daughter Amy.

The family has owned the building in Lindsay Road for more than 30 years.

The winding-up order in the Edinburgh Gazette stated that Scomac Catering Equipment Limited had served the notice to the business, which is registered at the city’s Gamekeepers Road.

The pub in Lindsay Road dates from 1767, and parts of it are grade B-listed.

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Following the fire in February 2010, the intention had been to quickly fix the damage and continue as normal until fire investigations led to the discovery of treasures from a bygone era.

Forgotten stained glass windows and ageing beams were unearthed, while searches in the attic turned up menus from the 1800s when the property ran as the Peacock Hotel.

As the venue was forced to close temporarily, it was decided to carry out a major refurbishment it had initially planned for later on.

No-one from the Carnie family was available for comment.