Edinburgh's Opal Lounge to re-open after complete makeover

After nearly two decades as the pearl in George Street's nightclub scene, Opal Lounge has undergone a huge transformation.

Friday, 7th September 2018, 10:15 pm
Updated Tuesday, 11th September 2018, 2:05 pm
Bar Manager, Andrew Mackie and General Manager Ben Greig in the newly refurbished Eastside with artwork by Edinburgh based artist Megan Wood. Picture: Contributed
Bar Manager, Andrew Mackie and General Manager Ben Greig in the newly refurbished Eastside with artwork by Edinburgh based artist Megan Wood. Picture: Contributed

Marvel’s Captain America, the Crown Prince of Morocco and the future king of the UK have all darkened the door of the subterranean bar but now the club will take on a new vibe.

Reinvented as Eastside and billed as ‘George Street but not as you know it,’ the former glitzy nightclub has shed its old, traditional club layout in favour of a more popular “indoor festival” vibe.

Indoor street food in collaboration with the likes of celebrity chef, Tony Singh will be on offer alongside pool tables, guest DJ sets and live music.

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Better known for its glitzy style, Eastside is an alternative take on the traditional George Street bar offering.

The easy-going, ‘dance-where-you-stand’ venue, which has been aimed at the after work drinks crowd as well as late night revellers, will now open at 5pm to capture the droves of city centre workers spilling out from offices and clocking-off time.

Those looking for somewhere to continue the evening will still be catered for with a 3am finish.

Ditching the post-night out kebab queue, hungry dancers will be able to feast on delights such as dumplings from ‘Yumpling Dumpings’ from the indoor pop-up food stands.

Harnessing quirky elements first seen at the likes of Hoot The Redeemer on Hanover Street, there is also a beer cocktails vending machine which does accept contactless payments.

Located within the basement of refurbished former auction house, Lyon and Turnbull, the concrete, raw brick and stone combined with Marmolium tiles and exposed air con aims to give the venue a rustic edge away from its former existence. Cool and contemporary with a nod to the industrial, Eastside has bespoke nooks and crannies aimed at enticing everyone into the “house party” 

An Eastside spokeswoman said: “We pride ourselves on truly understanding the wants of our customers and trends within the market both locally and globally.

“People have fallen out of love with the traditional bar scene and the rise in popularity for hybrid, social spaces that allow dancing, drinking, eating and conversation to happen under the one roof is what our target demographic are looking for.

“Eastside is somewhere to meet after work, listen to good music and as the night progresses, a place to party and stay refuelled on fantastic food until 3am.” The Opal Lounge, which opened with much fanfare in 2001, was the draw of many VIP’s with a swanky separate lounge area for those “on the list”.

Attracting sports stars and Hollywood A-listers, shortly before the refurbishment actor Chris Evans, who plays the clean-cut superhero Captain America, swapped his shield for a beer when he rolled up with a friend outside the George Street club one 
Saturday night in a Range Rover.

The actor grabbed a few Heinekens before heading to the VIP area for a few more.