THREE restaurant chains are set to open their first UK branches outside of London in a new city centre development.
South St Andrew Square, which is currently under construction, will host a New York contemporary steak house, a barbecue lobster shack and a Bombay-style cafe.
The £75 million project at 3-8 St Andrew Square has been designed to breathe new life into a site which has lain vacant for five years.
New images showing how it might look have also been released for the first time.
Steak house STK Rebel has agreed to a 25-year lease and is part of The One Group’s signature brand.
Big Easy, the barbecue and lobster shack, has signed up for a 8770sq ft unit facing out to St Andrew Square.
The restaurant first opened in London’s Kings Road in 1993 and was inspired by the 19th-century crab shacks and barbecue of the American gulf coast.
And the Bombay-style café, Dishoom, will serve Bombay breakfast, lunch, afternoon chai, plus dinner and tipples based on the all-day cafés of Bombay, which were started in the early 1900s.
Drake and Morgan, another London-based restaurant chain, will also move into the development.
John Donnelly, chief executive of Marketing Edinburgh, said: “Scotland’s capital is globally renowned for its excellent food and drink offering and we’re delighted to welcome the addition of these three hugely popular venues to our rich and diverse dining scene.
“With more restaurants per head than any other UK city, offering a huge variety from quality budget eateries, to Michelin-star fine dining, Edinburgh’s city centre is the ideal location for these well-known restaurants to establish a wider presence in the UK.”
South St Andrew Square is a joint venture between the Standard Life Investments Pooled Pension Property Fund and developer Peveril Securities.
The development’s construction is due to finish at the end of next year and bosses say it will help alleviate a shortage of top-quality commercial space in the city centre.
Councillor Frank Ross, the city’s economy leader, welcomed the new restaurants.
He said: “The latest figures from the council’s Economy Watch report reveal the number of new businesses registering in the city increased by 19.2 per cent in the third quarter compared to the same period last year.
“The creation of three new restaurants in the heart of the New Town is further good news for the city’s growth, and will help to support jobs once the construction of the impressive development is complete.
“St Andrew Square looks set to become one of the top leisure destinations in the Capital.”
David Stewart, the fund manager, said: “We’re confident South St Andrew Square will become the prime destination for top-quality dining in Edinburgh.”