The team behind Edinburgh institution Eddie's Seafood Market have announced the opening of a second branch - Eddie’s Seafood Market - North Pier.
The second shop will be located in Golden Acre and will open in late February.
Campbell Mickel, Michelin-Bib awarded chef and owner of Merienda Restaurant in Stockbridge and Exec Chef Cuisine Catering, together with his wife Giselle took on the helm of the original fishmongers in Marchmont in November 2020.
Explaining last year how Merienda and Eddie’s Seafood Market would merge, Campbell said: “When it came onto the market, I thought about it for a good while as I do with everything.
“I thought how closely I work with world-class Scottish sea produce, how proud we are of it and how I can improve it. I had a chat with Sylvia and Eddie.
“I have been a customer of theirs for over 25 years, from the earliest days of my career as a young chef.
“I realised that although there were a lot of interested parties, few, if any, would be able to match my passion for Scottish seafood. I decided I was going to go for it that day.
"We will add a touch of chef’s flair but generally you won’t notice dramatic changes. It’s still going to offer by far the best selection of fish and seafood in Edinburgh."
When an opportunity to expand the already hugely popular business came along, Campbell and Giselle jumped at it despite the current and ongoing lockdown.
Speaking of the new venue, Campbell said: "I saw an opportunity and, now I understand how Eddie's works, I wanted to add to it.
"When (the second) shop became available, some guys in the fish market told me that the landlord is my lobster supplier so I asked him about it. It's fully kitted out and ready to go, and a beautiful setup for a fishmongers.
"In terms of how it'll work, we will still have our fish, which we get daily from the market, filleted at the main unit in Marchmont and transport it down every morning.
"It will be an extension of what we have here at Eddie's, and it will stop people having to travel across the city.
"When people could travel, we've had them coming from the Borders and Fife once a week for their fish. It's incredible.
Going from cooking in the kitchen to serving customers fresh fish has been a learning curve for Campbell, as he explained: "I've never anticipated that I would be in retail.
"You would think that it's not going to be that much different from the hospitality industry that we all know. But it is and I've got a lot to learn, and I'm learning every day. "
The move into retail came as a "light bulb moment" when Campbell realised that a second lockdown was coming for Scotland.
He said: "I realised that another lockdown was going to happen. We got to open the restaurant for a bit in August and that was great.
"But it was clear that we were going to have to shut down again and that was really difficult. I mean, everyone in the hospitality industry knows that was soul destroying.
"You understand why but you have made all the effort to get everyone ready to reopen, with all the PPE and all the safety measures, and then it's ripped away from you again. And I just thought, you know, I need to do something else."
One of his favourite things is when customers ask about the fish, how to cook certain kinds and request advice on what to serve with it.
He said: "I'm happier just dealing with the customers and chatting about the fish that they're going to take home and what they're going to do and give them some pointers. That's probably one of the highlights of my day."
When it comes to reopening Merienda, Campbell said: "I don't see opening anytime soon, I would love to be wrong." But he does miss cooking.
Campbell explained that customers can expect the same level of quality and range of fish that they have in the original Eddie's, including sashimi-grade tuna fish and salmon, wild shellfish and seafood.
Find out more about Eddie's through their social media.