Grand Theft Auto developer purchases Portobello’s Dalriada for ‘private use’

An entrepreneur who developed the Grand Theft Auto series has purchased Portobello’s Dalriada pub on the promenade.
The former pub was sold to Mr Benzies in September 2020 (Pic: Rettie & Co)The former pub was sold to Mr Benzies in September 2020 (Pic: Rettie & Co)
The former pub was sold to Mr Benzies in September 2020 (Pic: Rettie & Co)

The new owner, Leslie Benzies, purchased the popular pub from former owners Terry and Alison Magill in September this year under a recently formed private company for which he is named as a director, Mariah Venture Limited.

The B-listed building was marketed by real estate agents Rettie & Co and was up for sale listed as offers over £950,000.

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When it was first listed the Dalriada attracted strong interest from hospitality sector operators. The property is a grade II listed Victorian villa and has been used as a hotel for more than half a century.

Philip Johnston, a spokesman for Mr Benzies, confirmed to the Edinburgh Reporter earlier this week that the building would not be converted into individual flats.

Mr Johnston said: “I can confirm 77 Promenade will not continue as a licensed premises and that plans will be submitted in due course to convert the property back into private use. Other than that, Mr Benzies regards this transaction as a private matter.”

He made no further comment when contacted by the Evening News.

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Mr Benzies, 49, was lead developer of the Grand Theft Auto series, one of the world’s most successful video game franchises. He was later appointed president of Rockstar North.

It is estimated that the Grand Theft Auto series has sold one quarter of a billion copies and grossed more than $6 billion.Mr Benzies departed Rockstar in 2016 and launched a legal case claiming he was due $150m in unpaid royalties.

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