Portobello restaurant The Boathouse launches ‘Pay What You Want’ offer for charity

A popular bar in Portobello has extended the Eat Out to Help Out scheme and is raising money for charity.

Published 16th Sep 2020
Updated 9 th Aug 2023

Popular waterfront restaurant The Boathouse has started a weekly new scheme in order to give back to the community after last month’s Eat Out To Help Out campaign helped restore life to the hospitality industry.

Every Thursday will see the restaurant asking patrons to ‘Pay What You Want’ for their meals, with all proceeds being donated to Edinburgh-based homelessness charity Steps To Hope, after an overwhelming response to the restaurant’s call for charity suggestions.

Customers are encouraged to give what they feel they can afford for their meal and soft drinks, judgement-free, either by card or cash.

Donations will then be given directly to the charity. The restaurant is also welcoming volunteers to bring takeaway boxes of food to those in the local area who would benefit.

The Boathouse opened in the summer of 2019 and offers a range of seafood, pasta and homemade pizza as well as cocktails, beers and wine – all served with unrivalled views of the Portobello beach.

They have also extended the “Eat Out To Help Out” campaign every Monday to Wednesday throughout September and October.

Last week the team at The Boathouse launched a Crowdfunding campaign after the honesty box of donations to the charity was stolen.

Speaking about the theft, bar manager Blair Hay said:“At 6.45pm I was in the kitchen when one of the waitresses came running, screaming, and I thought she was being chased by a dog. So I ran out the door and was looking behind her. One of the bartenders had already ran off in pursuit so we followed after the waitress shouted, ‘he’s taken the bucket’.”

Some of the staff chased the culprit, who was on a bike for some time, through streets of Portobello, and eventually cornered him close to a block of flats on the High Street, where it is alleged he brandished a knife. He ran off into a building site, where police with dogs continued the search.

The estimated amount in the bucket is £500-£1000 but the staff don’t know the full amount as it was all donations.

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The total of the Crowdfunder now sits at £1,555, £555 over target, with proceeds going to Steps To Hope.

Iain Meldrum (aka Mixolosopher) has over a decade of experience at the top of the drinks industry as both a bartender and trainer. He is passionate about all things alcoholic - though in a responsible and philosophical way, of course.
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