But, like all great empires, even the most legendary businesses must rise and fall.
From Rankins’ fruit & veg emporiums to Brattisani’s famous fish bars, we take a look at 17 lost Edinburgh institutions that are gone but not forgotten.
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1. Ripping Records
Lasting more than four decades, independent record store Ripping Records had a vast library of music and also sold gig tickets. People would be queuing the length of South Bridge for the biggest concerts and events, such as T in the Park and Oasis at Loch Lomond in 1996.
Photo: esme allen
2. James Thin
There wasn't a bookworm, journalist or literary academic in Edinburgh who didn't shop at James Thin's at one point or another. Thin's had been in business for more than 150 years when it closed in 2002.
Photo: SEAN BELL
3. Martins the Bakers
Forget Greggs, Edinburgh institution Martins the Bakers was the place to go for a savoury light bite back in the day.
Photo: Denis Straughan
4. John Menzies
Specialising in everything from stationery and books to toys and records, John Menzies appeared to have no limit to the variety of wares it had on offer. Its stores are now closed but the Edinburgh-founded company survives with its distribution and aviation arms.
Photo: Hamish Campbell