Swedish-run bar with top-notch food and a relaxed atmosphere
You take one traditional nicotine-stained boozer much patronised by the middle-aged-gent-afternoon-drinking sector, give it a fresh lick of paint and some quirky fittings, a Scandinavian-style bar menu, provide a welcoming space for children during the day, put seats outside but offer fleece blankets too (you are 56° north after all) then watch the punters roll in (except on Tuesday evenings when the bar runs a jogging club and some people literally run in).
Joseph Pearce’s has been around in one form or another since the late Victorian period but it took the vision of Swedish entrepreneur couple the Christophersons in 2008 to see the potential of the space and the location. Subsequently it has become a favourite on the Edinburgh food’n’drink scene.
At lunchtime, toddlers can shovel down some meatballs & mash from the kids menu while mums and dads tackle an open sandwich with crayfish in sour cream dill sauce perhaps. There are also burgers, sharing plates, salads and more. On sunny summer afternoons the terrace tables come into their own while evenings are likely to have parties of people enthusing about cocktails like the Pear and Cucumber Gin Fizz, or the legendary Hot Björn Borg (aquavit, chillies, lychee, lime and sugar).
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23 Elm Row