Former Hibs star Derek Riordan opens up about plans for Easter Road pub Four in Hand - and getting a second chance

Riordan blasted tabloid newspaper reports linking his involvement in the bar to a convicted drug dealer and dragging up his past court appearances

Thursday, 30th January 2020, 7:20 am
Updated Thursday, 30th January 2020, 7:43 am

Former Hibs favourite Derek Riordan has spoken for the first time about his plans to take over and breath new life into one of Edinburgh’s best-known bars.

Speaking exclusively to the Evening News, Riordan revealed he has ambitious plans for Leith boozer the Four In Hand – a firm favourite among Hibs supporters.

And he hopes people will give him a chance to prove he has shaken off the bad boy image of his younger years when he was involved in several scrapes with the law.

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Former Hibs star Derek Riordan opens up about plans for Easter Road pub Four in Hand - and getting a second chance

Riordan wants to make the Four In Hand more of an all-round sports bar, attracting its regulars and new clientele, but not losing its links to the Easter Road side and its faithful followers.

The 37-year-old also played for Celtic before returning to Easter Road and then switching to Chinese side Shaanxi Chanba. He returned to the UK and made appearances for a number of sides before quitting the game.

He said: “I’m really excited to take over a good old fashioned Hibs pub and be able to mix with the fans. I’ve always had an idea that I’d open up a sports bar and although I thought it would be abroad, what better place than down the road from Easter Road. I want it to be a boozer that can offer affordable prices and a place where I can give back to the community.

“I’m thinking of changing the place into more of a sports bar as it is always busy at the weekends but could do with some business midweek and showing the Champions League and stuff like that would be perfect.

Riordan celebrates after netting against Hamilton in 2010

“I am looking forward to a fresh start to be honest. Anytime I am in the news it is all negative and people forget you have a family with bairns at school. Everyone deserves a second chance and that’s all I’m after is a chance to start again. I just wish all the negativity wasn’t dragged up every time I try to make a positive change.”

The Four In Hand is owned by Hibs stalwart Paul Kane, who is the licensee and Riordan is expected to take over its tenancy this Saturday.

Riordan also blasted tabloid newspaper reports linking his involvement in the bar to a convicted drug dealer and dragging up his past court appearances, which involved drink-related skirmishes at Capital nightclubs. He is still banned from a number of city venues as a result.

But he has pleaded for a chance to prove himself, and said: “How am I supposed to move on with my life if things keep getting brought up? I just want to put all that stuff behind me. Hopefully, this will be a chance for me to start again on a positive note.

“What was reported by some papers wasn’t right. I’m going into this venture by myself and at the moment I’m still to figure out the finer details like who will be the licensee in future.”

Speaking of fellow ex-pro Kane, who has a number of business ventures, Riordan – who scored more than 120 competitive goals for Hibs – added: “I’ve no idea if Paul will stay

involved. This is something I am doing by myself at the moment.

“I want this place to be good for the regulars and also a place where the old boys can watch the horses and feel at home.”