Comment: The Ivy opening shows power shift in city centre

The Ivy On the Square St. Andrews Square, Edinburgh
The Ivy On the Square St. Andrews Square, Edinburgh
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St Andrew Square is changing fast.

The imminent opening of the Ivy - the restaurant made famous by its London counterpart - is a symbolic point in its transformation.

The London venue is known as one of the best places in the UK for spotting celebrities. Its Edinburgh counterpart is likely to be a little more low key.

It may well turn out to be a hang out for footballers and visiting stars of stage and screen, but rather than being overly exclusive it is pitching itself as a bit of affordable luxury, a treat that most of us can afford.

In that way it fits in with the changing image of the square. Once home to bankers, it is now becoming the city’s main draw for upmarket shopping, eating and drinking. That change will only gather pace once the St James Quarter redevelopment is complete.

This changing view of the Square and what it is for is one of the reasons behind the Fringe being squeezed out during the summer. It would be a shame if the two cannot find a way to co-exist next year.

The east end is becoming the place that sucks in many of those shoppers, diners and drinkers who once headed straight for George St. That is a challenge that George St will have to take on and assert its own distinct identity.