Owners of Leith’s The Dreadnought pub Toby Saltonstall and his partner Roisin Therese have bought The Wee Leith Shop on Leith Walk which has been shut since the 90s.
The couple now plan to turn it into a takeaway shop which will showcase beers from local breweries.
“I’ve been intrigued by The Wee Leith Shop since I first moved to the area six years ago,” said Roisin, 36, who originally hails from Ireland.
“I love the character of the building and how it seems so out of time with everything around it. I tried to track down the owner years ago to ask about buying it but had no success until I saw it come up for sale last year.”
She added that, despite business having been tough over the past two years due to Covid, buying the quirky unit was an opportunity which was ‘too good to pass up’.
“I can barely believe that I actually have keys and have this amazing opportunity to give this one of a kind building a new lease of life,” she said.
“I'm also slightly terrified, but bursting with ideas and enthusiasm and looking forward to putting the same level of love and pride into it as we do at the Dreadnought.”
Toby, 43, and Roisin will have to restore and repair the shop before they are able to open it and they are currently going through paperwork to get planning permission to do so.
But Roisin said it was important to them to preserve the building’s unique charm and character.
“From the earliest days of trying to buy this premises, I have been adamant that we will not be changing anything about it.
“We are going to keep the shopfront exactly as it is. We are keeping the sign, the colour, and even the name. Our plan is just to faithfully restore it to its former glory.
“We think it's perfect as it is and so would change nothing. We fully appreciate that there is a great affection for this shop in the local community and are aware that being the custodians of such a well loved local landmark with such a rich history comes with a certain amount of responsibility. We're going to look after it.”
Roisin and Toby will be documenting the restoration process on their new Facebook page, @WeeLeithShop.