Plain sailing for new Leith venue

Scottish food and drink is at the core of Duke Street bar

The good ship Nauticus: Jamieson and McPherson with their team

SCOTTISH produce is at the heart of the offer in a newly-opened pub in Leith.

Nauticus was launched this month by Iain McPherson, owner of Edinburgh cocktail bars Panda & Sons and Hoot The Redeemer, and licensee Kyle Jamieson.

The pair took on the pub, which is leased from Admiral Taverns, earlier in the year and extensively refurbished it – stripping the interior back to its original features before adding decor inspired by Leith’s historic connections to the shipping and drinks trades.

Renovations included the installation of a new seashell-tile bar-top with Victorian-style bar lights, a new gantry and the creation of a ‘library’ space with its own piano for live music.

“We looked at it and we saw a lot of charm,” McPherson told SLTN.

“We could see if we ripped everything out, kept all the original features and built it back up it would look really good.”

The drinks offer is focused almost entirely on Scottish products, with beer from local breweries, a range of 100 Scotch whiskies and a selection of Scottish gins.

McPherson said every spirits bottle on the pub’s speedrail is a Scottish brand, with even the house bourbon – Maker’s Mark – sporting Scottish heritage.

Cocktails include Scottish brands such as Arbikie, Pickering’s, Sea Wolf and Aelder and mixers and soft drinks are by companies including Bon Accord and Walter Gregor.

“We’re focusing on the small, family-run companies, because we’re a small company,” said McPherson.

“And if they are more expensive to buy in and sell on at least we can justify that by explaining the concept: we’re trying to help the economy in our country.

“We’re just trying to highlight that you can have a bar with all Scottish products, and show how good they are.”

In addition to the drinks offer the pub also serves locally-sourced food including charcuterie from East Coast Cured Meats Company, cheese from IJ Mellis, and pork pies from local pie maker Pie Dolly.

Jamieson said: “The pub is a real celebration of the history and local community of Leith.

“We wanted to create a very stylish but comfortable pub where people from all ages could enjoy local, best in class Scottish produce.

“It’s been fantastic to have the opportunity to create our vision for the pub. We’re delighted to have the chance to be able to showcase and support so many local suppliers and we are really looking forward to seeing the reaction of our customers.”