Leith pub, The Pond, reopens as The Bullfinch, from the team behind Barney's Beer and The Pitt

They’ll be offering 14 draught lines of beer and cider

Published 30th Jul 2021
Updated 20 th Sep 2023

Those who loved Leith pub, The Pond, will be sad about its demise.

However, the premises has been taken over by something of a dream team - the people behind Edinburgh businesses, Barney’s Beer and The Pitt - and has now reopened its doors as “a neighbourhood pub offering great food”.

“After their success in running bars at street food markets like The Pitt, Market Street Arches and Food and Flea Market, Barney’s Beer founder, Andrew Barnett, decided it was time to invest in his own digs,” says brewery manager Mhairi Shaw-Hawkins. “Punters can expect 14 draught lines of beer and cider at any time from Barney’s and local producers like Campervan, Pilot, New Barns and Hard Pressed Cider Co as well as limited-edition sharing bottles of beer and cider. The bar also has a curated menu of spirits and wine for non beer drinkers”.

They’ve preserved the original features of the distinctive corner building, revamped the beer garden, and the interior has gone from bright red to dusty blue. There are stools made from old kegs, and crockery designed by Andy Lang (aka The Potter of Leith), who has created glazes containing fire pit ash from The Pitt.

“Everyone involved in the project - myself, The Pitt’s Scotty and Hal, as well as bar manager Tom - all live in Leith, so we knew the importance of not just refitting, but restoring the much-loved bar”, says Andrew Barnett. “During refurbishment, we made sure to preserve the traditional charm The Pond was so well known for with careful restoration of the bar and gantry; even coining its new name from the bullfinch that was part of the existing stained glass windows dating back to the Eighteenth century. Keeping all that old charm, we’ve worked on giving it a fresh lick of paint and updated furnishings to elevate the space and fit the ambitious food and drinks offerings now available”.

If you want to visit, tables are currently available on a first-come-first-served basis, and the menu is based on tapas and pintxos. They’ve appointed chef, Isaac Nicol-Smith, who has created some vibrant dishes, including burrata doughnuts, slow-braised pork rillettes, salt and Szechuan pepper chicken wings, or spiced aubergine tempura with herb salad.

2-4 Bath Road, www.thebullfinch.co.uk

aubergine tempura

Gaby Soutar is a lifestyle editor at The Scotsman. She has been reviewing restaurants for The Scotsman Magazine since 2007 and edits the weekly food pages.
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