The Shilling Group has transformed the old Harry’s Bar in Edinburgh’s West End
One of the veterans of Edinburgh’s drinking scene, Harry’s Bar, has undergone a transformation that sees little more than its name remaining. Around £375m has been invested in the new Harry’s Bar & Grill in Randolph Place in the West End, creating a new destination for cocktails, steaks and seafood.
It is the latest venture from leading operator Shilling Group which earlier this year revamped long-established Bar Kohl in the Old Town into stylish bar and restaurant Slighhouse. This time, they worked with Edinburgh-based design practice Morgan McDonnell which has been making a mark on the Scottish capital with projects such as cocktail bar The Devil’s Advocate and Innis & Gunn’s first bar The Beer Kitchen.
The dated interior, which has been home to Harry’s Bar since the late 1980s, was completely stripped back and reconfigured, revealing original stone and brickwork. The basement space has been made lighter by increasing the ceiling height, opening up the front courtyard and installing glass doors to the garden at the back.
The exposed stone and brick add character and warmth, with a range of sleek and luxurious furniture including chesterfields and oak tables. The addition of materials such as polished concrete, copper, oak, button-backed leather and dark grey wall panelling provides a fine balance of rustic and luxury.
With a new raised dining area, the 80-cover venue is specialising in food cooked on charcoal, focusing on locally sourced steaks and seafood, including lobster and smoked Loch Fyne mussels. The open kitchen is home to a charcoal-fired Josper Grill – rated highly by barbecue enthusiasts. There is an express menu at lunchtime and Sunday roasts featuring signature cuts such as a Tomahawk.
A good selection of spirits are stocked behind the copper-topped bar, with a menu recommending simple serves such as a Pickering’s Gin and tonic, and a range of classic and original cocktails, priced from £6 to £8. They include the Storm in a Tiki Cup, combining Gosling’s, Havana 3 Year Old, El Dorado and Wray & Nephew Overproof rums with absinthe, pineapple, lime, ginger and chai tea. The Brown Paper Buck, mixing Buffalo Trace bourbon, Fever-Tree ginger ale and plum bitters, comes served in a brown paper bag with a straw, while the Huckleberry Gin uses Caorunn Gin mixed with raspberry-infused Campari, camomile vermouth and orange bitters with an apple crisp.
Bottled beers range from Goose Island 312 and Camden Pale Ale to Scottish brews such as Innis & Gunn and Barney’s Red Rye, with plenty more on draught such as Glasgow’s German-style lager West St Mungo, Brooklyn Lager and Greene King’s Yardbird pale ale. Along with the wine selection, the new food and drinks offering and the stylish interior signal that Harry’s Bar has gone but Harry’s Bar & Grill is here to stay.
Harry’s Bar & Grill, 7B Randolph Place, Edinburgh EH3 7TH
Tel: 0131 539 8100
Behind the scenes
Design: Morgan McDonnell
Main contractor, banquettes: Prime Property Ventures
Chairs, stools: Ultimate Contract
Leather: Yarwood Leather
Lighting: Dynamic LED, iGuzzini
External signage: Baillie Signs
Wall tiles: Tilenation
Wall cladding: Mike Wye & Associates
Bar flooring: Ardex Pandomo
Sanitary: Scope Bathrooms