Bar spirits into the off-trade

Bon Vivant operator moves into the retail business

THE team behind Edinburgh’s Bon Vivant bar is set to branch into retail with the opening of a new speciality spirits shop. The Bon Vivant’s Companion, which was due to open as SLTN went to press, will be based next door to the Thistle Street bar, in premises previously occupied by a beautician. Bon Vivant owner Stuart McCluskey told SLTN the new store will stock a range of speciality drinks, including limited edition whiskies and bottlings from closed distilleries.
The basement of the store will include an events space, which will host product launches, demonstrations and training sessions. Former Bon Vivant general manager May Kongsrivilai is heading the events side of the business, while Jaime Dawson, formerly of Oddbins, will manage the shop.


McCluskey told SLTN the spirits store aims to offer value and quality. “Regardless of whether it’s £5 or £55, what they’re going to get is value,” he said. “It’s really good liquid that’s been sourced from a truly independent ideal. I’ve got a really amazing team who are young and enthusiastic and into their wines and spirits and beers and food and they get really excited about trying lots of stuff and sourcing products. We are 100% confident of everything on our shelves being of good quality and, most importantly, good value.”