Edinburgh property developers rescue and reopen The Melville Bar pub

pub & bar

By Peter Ruddick

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Bar

Jon Eastwood, one half of the property developer pair who have helped rescue The Melville Bar in Edinburgh
Jon Eastwood, one half of the property developer pair who have helped rescue The Melville Bar in Edinburgh
The Melville Bar, an Edinburgh pub which was closed after the previous leaseholder ran into difficulty, has reopened after it was refurbished by a pair of property developers who wanted to take the venue back to its former glory.

The 66-cover pub and dining room was soft launched on 14 February after a refurb costing in excess of £250k. The development was funded by Jon Eastwood and Malcolm Gray who recently secured a 15-year lease on the property from the London Town Brewery.


Although the pair had no previous experience of managing a hospitality business, they were part of the team behind the redevelopment of the luxury, boutique Atholl Hotel in the Scottish capital.

After the pub, which had previously been popular with locals and businessmen, fell into disrepair and began to attract a different type of pub goer, Eastwood and Gray decided to try and take over the business which is located just a stone's throw from the pair's office.

"The Melville Bar drastically changed," Eastwood told BigHospitality. "The clientele were predominantly football supporters. It closed down in June last year and we went for an interview in Glasgow with quite a few other people who were interested in redeveloping it into a bar - and we got accepted.


"We want The Melville to be the kind of place where we want to frequent ourselves. We want to be able to come here, sit at the barstool, have a few pints, share a platter with some friends or bring the family for a Sunday lunch where our customers can be guaranteed decent quality food and drink in fresh, comfortable surroundings," Eastwood said.

The seasonal menu at the high-tech venue has been created by Michael Mathieson, head chef at The Atholl Hotel. It features a unique business lunch sharing platter which sees business diners receiving three courses of a meal at once to save time.

The team have also developed an extensive cocktail, wine and champagne list alongside several beers on tap and a number of whiskies.  

Eastwood said he was enjoying the new challenge of running a pub. "A lot of the old locals from before have started coming back and telling us how glad they are that we have reopened and with what we have done to the place because they were so disappointed," he explained.

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