Edinburgh rooftop restaurant once billed as 'hottest table in the city' hits the market

The site of an Edinburgh rooftop restaurant once billed as “the hottest table in the city” has hit the market.

The Tower Restaurant, located above the National Museum of Scotland in Chambers Street in Edinburgh, closed its doors for good earlier this year.
The Tower Restaurant, located above the National Museum of Scotland in Chambers Street in Edinburgh, closed its doors for good earlier this year.

The Tower Restaurant, located above the National Museum of Scotland in Chambers Street, closed its doors for good earlier this year amid the fallout from the coronavirus pandemic.

The fifth-floor venue, which had opened 22 years earlier and was run by entrepreneur James Thomson, offered stunning views of Edinburgh Castle. It was once branded “the hottest table in the city” by AA Gill, the late food critic.

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Property consultancy Colliers International has now been appointed to market the restaurant space following its lease expiry.

The capital venue was famed for its outside terracing.

The new lease offers 1,674 square feet of indoor restaurant and bar space, and 2,174 sq ft of outside terracing. Financial details have not been disclosed.

Paul Shiells from the licensed and leisure team at Colliers, said: “The National Museum of Scotland is open to considering either restaurant, bistro or bar tenants interested in leasing and developing the space.

“This is a beautiful restaurant setting at the top of this golden sandstone-clad building, with floor to ceiling glass overlooking the veranda providing uninterrupted views of the city.

“There’s an opportunity to expand the rooftop terrace’s use, to add more covers, or outside drinking areas. The tenant will also be offered opportunities to cater for events held within the museum.”

A spokesperson for the National Museum of Scotland added: “The Tower Restaurant was a great success for the past two decades, and while we were sad to see it close we are looking forward to welcoming a new tenant to work with us in partnership to provide an offering that reflects the quality and reputation of the museum as a five-star visitor attraction and the most visited tourist attraction in Scotland.”

Earlier this week, the owner of iconic Edinburgh hospitality venues Prestonfield House Hotel and The Witchery secured a multi-million-pound funding lifeline as the sector continues to be battered by coronavirus restrictions.

Thomson was Scotland’s youngest licensee when he founded The Witchery restaurant at the top of the capital’s famous Royal Mile in 1978, aged 20, with just three staff. He has since grown his business to employ hundreds of people.

His company, Castlegate Investments, evolved with the purchase of Prestonfield House.

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