The 50-cover bar officially opened on 5 April and is located on a site where Beds & Bars previously operated two Belushi’s bars and a St Christopher’s Inns hostel. The hostel and one of the bars remains while the second has been converted and reopened under this new concept.
The venue is a partnership between Beds & Bars and American brands Fordham Beers and the Old Dominion Brewing Company. Imported by UK firm Heathwick, products under both brands are increasingly sold in a number of craft beer bars in the country.
Speaking to BigHospitality, Iain Dempster from the London-based group said Beds & Bars had originally been looking to launch a craft beer bar in the capital last year but thoughts turned to Edinburgh when those plans fell through.
“We are probably about six to eight months into a trend in Edinburgh,” he said. “Some other craft beer players have opened up here but there are none that specialise purely in American and Scottish craft beer, whisky and bourbon – that is it apart from soft drinks.”
Some 65 American and Scottish craft beers are listed on the Jake’s Place drinks list as well as a number of whiskies, bourbons and sodas and soft drinks.
The food is also inspired by US/Scottish fusion. Dishes such as ‘neep ‘n’ tattie tots’ with a buttermilk ranch sauce are matched with beers, in this case the Dominion Beach House Pilsner.
The rustic design of the Edinburgh bar features largely reclaimed materials including pallets, church pews, army barrack lighting and corrugated steel. Some of the keg beers will be served through old whisky casks.
Graham Richardson, brand owner of Fordham and Old Dominion beers, said: "We have worked closely with the team to pair these great beers with some of the fantastic American and Scottish dishes on the menu at Jake's Place and we are excited to see how they are received by the Edinburgh public. The move into Scotland signifies the growth in the popularity of American craft beer and the fact that the trend seems to be continuing to sweep across the UK."
Beds & Bars
Although Beds & Bars has craft beer bar experience – they own and run St Christopher's at the Bauhaus in Bruges – Jake’s Place is the first bar of this kind for the company in the UK.
Dempster spent three years working for Beds & Bars in Belgium and said he thought this concept could work elsewhere in the UK.
“This is a ‘dipping our toe in the water’ project to see if it works for us and Fordham and Dominion. If it does, who knows - never say never.
“It would be an easy thing to drop into any other units. Obviously it wouldn’t be Scottish and American craft beer, it would be whatever the other unit is and American.”