Edinburgh pubs: Bier Hoose on Leith Walk set to bring back iconic identity as Boundary Bar
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For more than a century it was famous as the pub where punters on one side could get in an extra half hour of drinking time just by shuffling over to the other side of the bar.
Now the Bier Hoose on Leith Walk is set for a return to its iconic identity as the Boundary Bar, named after its location as the demarcation point between the official boundary between Leith and Edinburgh before they were amalgamated.
Owners of the Bier Hoose posted in the I Love Leith group on Facebook telling customers: “We are working on a refurb and changing back to the boundary bar can’t wait for you all to see!” They invited local artists to display work in the revived Boundary Bar. The bar which specialises in German and Belgian beers has also put a sign up outside which reads ‘still open while we transform back in time’.
Aptly named the Boundary Bar, the pub straddled the dividing line between the burghs of Edinburgh and Leith. At the time, Leith and Edinburgh were completely independent and had separate alcohol licensing laws so drinkers on the Edinburgh side could spill over to the Leith side of the bar at 9.30pm to enjoy an extra half hour of revelry.
The celebrated watering hole closed down in 2002 after it deteriorated badly in the 1990s, and reopened as City Limits. Losing the Boundary name, which was integral to it’s identity, upset community leaders, real ale campaigners and pub historians.
Leithers were passionate about the sovereignty of their town and voted overwhelmingly in favour of remaining separate from Edinburgh. But the Boundaries Extension Act of 1920 still went through. It led to a major expansion of the city’s boundaries, including the amalgamation of the fiercely independent burgh of Leith.
Six years ago it reopened as the Bier Hoose and has retained a nod to it’s history, with two barrels in the front bar one marked Leith and one marked Edinburgh. A date has not yet been confirmed for the official change back to the Boundary Bar. Owners have been contacted for comment.