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Tue 10th Feb 2015 - Star Pubs & Bars invests in gin bar, largest Scottish investment
PG Taverns opens gin bar and dining room in Star Pubs & Bars largest ever Scottish investment: The regeneration of the West End of Edinburgh took another step forward this week with the opening of The Jolly Botanist, (formerly the Spider’s Web), a gin bar and dining room on Morrison Street. It follows a ten-month closure and a major £730,000 refurbishment, which is a joint investment by Star Pubs & Bars and local entrepreneurs, Iain Pert and Gordon Gilhooley, of PG Taverns Scotland. The complete overhaul of the venue is the pub company’s largest-ever single site investment in Scotland and the company’s third collaboration with the pair in 12 months. The gin and dining room is further evidence of the explosion of gin in Scotland and will offer over 70 craft and small batch gins from around the globe including Edinburgh’s own Edinburgh Gin, as well as feature cask hand pulls including a number of Caledonian ales and Three Hop and a selection of premium draft lagers (Heineken Served Extra Cold, Affligem and Krusovice), a range of wines, spirits and cocktails and selection of fresh locally sourced food. The urban concept, is the brainchild of Iain Pert, who described the Jolly Botanist as a name, a person and a brand. He said: “The Jolly Botanist is a combination of some of Edinburgh’s best attributes – its world famous botanical gardens and long gin and ale heritage and the city’s irreverent sense of fun. Gin is very much a drink of the moment, the preferred choice of bartenders and mixologists and a spirit for which Scotland is becoming world famous. I believe Edinburgh could and should become the gin capital of the world. We’ve brought in Iain Sim, an acclaimed food consultant who has run successful pop ventures in Islington and Shoreditch in London such as Lobster v Steak and Bonny & Wilde and is bringing the immediacy of street cuisine to the Jolly Botanist as well a new head chef, formerly of Rick’s in Edinburgh. It’s a powerful combination.” The interior is a deconstructed homage to Jules Verne. The whole interior has been moved around to create a raised area with a quirky relaxed living room feel and a large dining area which in the Summer extends outside the front of the bar as the glass doors fold back to allow for alfresco dining. Chris Jowsey, trading director of Star Pubs & Bars said: “The regeneration of the West End is gathering pace, so it’s the ideal time for The Jolly Botanist to open its door. We’re delighted to be investing in this exciting part of Edinburgh and that someone of Iain’s extensive experience has taken on this high profile site and is breathing new life into what had formerly been a tired underperforming pub.”

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