A CITY pub group has unveiled plans to create an exclusive jazz lounge to bring the biggest acts in the industry to Edinburgh.
Saltire Taverns wants to transform the upper level of the upmarket Le Monde hotel complex in George Street into a late-night music venue with a capacity of nearly 300.
Boss Billy Lowe said Dirty Martini – as it would be called – was inspired by top jazz clubs in London and New York and would offer an alternative to traditional restaurants and hotel eateries.
The firm claims the venue would rival banqueting venues offered by the five-star Prestonfield Hotel and Sheraton Grand and provide a late-night destination for tourists, opening until 3am.
The plans were unveiled before the city council’s licensing committee, where the firm presented supporting letters from the music industry as part of an application for a late licence.
Stephen McGowan, a solicitor representing Saltire Taverns, said: “This will be a venue like nothing else in Edinburgh, or Scotland for that matter.
“Dirty Martini will be a jazz and cabaret bar which will invoke the 1960s venues of New York and London, which were graced by stars like Ella Fitzgerald.
“Before I became a lawyer I was a drummer in a jazz band for ten years, and I can assure there is nothing else like this in the country.
“This is the kind of thing the music industry would be delighted to have in Scotland.”
At yesterday’s meeting, some councillors raised concerns about the addition of another venue in George Street that closes at 3am.
However, the firm said it would be employing more door stewards, staff and its own taxi stewards to maintain a secure environment.
Councillors will vote on the proposed change of usage and late licence next month.
John Custard, general manager at Saltire Taverns, said: “Dirty Martini will be an upscale venue offering live music to the over-30s audience.
“There will be a big focus on late-night formal meals and well-made cocktails.
“We also want to appeal to couples and groups who have been out for dinner and are looking for somewhere to enjoy an evening, somewhere sophisticated, and not just a club with booming music.
“One of the important things will be having top musicians coming from around the UK and Europe, and this will be a venue that can accommodate these top acts.
“We hope this will offer the things you don’t get in Edinburgh at the moment.”