Refurbishment project comes to fruition at Princes Street cocktail bar Juniper. Matthew Lynas reports
ABOVE the parade of shops on Edinburgh’s Princes Street, the team behind one of the capital’s newest cocktail bars is busy carving out a reputation as a destination venue.
Juniper opened its doors in August as part of the Cairn Group’s ongoing refurbishment of the Royal British Hotel, which also includes restaurant Twenty Princes Street.
And it seems the bar’s decor and drinks are going down well with locals and tourists.
Designed by Newcastle-based firm NArchitecture, Juniper offers views of Edinburgh’s old town from a contemporary setting.
Featuring a juniper berry-themed colour palette, soft furnishings sourced from Style Matters contrast with the venue’s white bar. The refurbished space, previously a high-tea room, includes a library-themed lounge, complete with contemporary art and a marble surround fireplace.
The old meets new theme has been continued on Juniper’s cocktail menu.
Created by head barman David ‘TJ’ Littlejohn and the rest of the staff, the cocktail list offers classics, contemporary serves, and ‘hybrids’ of the two styles.
The menu is split into five sections, including ‘The Old Town’, which features classic cocktails with a twist, and ‘The New Town’ menu, which lists more modern serves.
Juniper also offers its own interpretation of ‘street food’; dishes include Scottish lobster macaroni and cheese and braised ox cheek nuggets.
Martin Scott, general manager of Juniper and sister restaurant Twenty Princes Street, said he aims to build a reputation for quality and high service standards.
Scott, whose licensed trade career began as a kitchen porter at Glasgow’s Oran Mor, said staff are at the heart of the new venture.
“It sounds cheesy but we hire personality,” he said.
“We’re still continuing to get busier. Edinburgh is a word of mouth town.
“The main thing people notice is the staff, they always get mentioned.”