Revellers can ‘Paint the town Ted’ at the new Malones pub in Haymarket following a £1m-plus investment from the owners, who have been searching for a new location in Edinburgh since their previous venue was sold to another leisure and hospitality business at the start of last year.
The mural, which features favourites Father Ted Crilly, Father Dougal McGuire, Father Jack Hackett, Mrs Doyle, Bishop Brennan and other legendary Craggy Island characters, was created by artist Chris Rutterford and will take centre stage at the new bar which has opened on the site which previously housed Diane’s Pool Hall.
One scene included in the artwork depicts the episode where the priests get lost in Ireland’s largest department store lingerie section and there’s a reference to ‘My Lovely Horse’, among other nods to classic Father Ted moments.
Around 35 full-time and part-time jobs are being created, with more than 20 musicians expected to perform each week.
Simon Keane, director at Malones Irish Bars, said: “After a long break … the craic is back! We’re delighted to be re-launching Malones in Edinburgh.
"We’re all huge Father Ted fans at Malones and we even hold a Father Ted festival each year to raise money for charity. We’re delighted with Chris’s mural. It must be one of the largest tributes to Father Ted – it’s a stunning piece of work.”
Aoibhínn Cullen, marketing and events at Malones, said: “Once again Malones will be supporting the local live music scene with at least 12 acts performing each week. It’s been a race again time to get ready, but we’re delighted to finally be open and would encourage everyone to pay us a visit … ah, go on, go on, go on!”
Chris Rutterford, who has built a reputation for mural and art projects across the United Kingdom, said: “When we decided to go with the Father Ted theme for the staircase I really felt we were on holy ground – it’s one of the funniest shows there's ever been. I love it.
“I've produced lots of murals over the past few years but this felt a wee bit intimidating – it's such a classic. There was no shortage of iconic moments and characters to include.
"I spent a full night ploughing through the shows looking for the thread of the story. The final piece is a bit like a graphic novel – an invitation to visit Craggy Island from the comfort of the new Malones.”
The mural is 12 metres along one side of the stairs, and currently 10 metres long on the other side, but this will be 16 metres once completed.
Comedian and actor Michael Redmond, who played the boring Father Paul Stone in Father Ted, has been invited to make a special appearance at the new bar, which – as well as live music – will show live sport such as the Six Nations, Gaelic sports and the big football matches on seven large screens.
The venue has been totally refurbished throughout – and will offer more than 25 beers, from Guinness to its very own brew - the brand behind the new launch are currently running a competition on Facebook to name the new beer.
In addition, five giant copper tanks for speciality Tennent’s Tank Lager have been installed. These are first ones serving Tennent’s to be installed on the east coast of Scotland.
More than 70 whiskies are on offer including more than 50 from Ireland.
Joining the Malones pubs in Glasgow and Aberdeen, the new Edinburgh bar can be found at 242 Morrison Street and is open from 9am to 1am six days a week, and from 12.30 on Sundays.