Photo of
May 16, 2012
The beer tap gantry at Red Squirrel: sister bar to The Southern

The Fuller Thomson pub group have recently stamped their mark on The Southern, a long standing bar in Edinburgh’s Southside.

As well as pubs such as Duke’s in Dundee and both 9c and Red Squirrel in Edinburgh, Fuller Thomson also opened their first Glasgow bar, Bruadar, just before Christmas.

If their previous ventures are anything to go by then their acquisition of The Southern is likely to mean a new lease of life for the venerable boozer.

A huge range of both draught and bottled beers combined with around 20 gourmet burgers are the main attractions of Fuller Thomson’s existing Edinburgh pubs and it’s one which they have repeated at The Southern.

One imagines that the big beer companies are somewhat worried by pubs run by relatively small operators such as Fuller Thomson or Brewdog.

At a time when many mainstream bars are closing down, here are two companies that are attracting young drinkers with disposable income and a genuine interest in craft beers – a drinks category which was supposed to be restricted to a dwindling number of people stereotyped as bearded folkies.

Interesting beers and decent burgers at reasonable prices is not a complicated formula but Fuller Thomson seem to have the knack of getting it just right. How long will it be before before the large pub chains start trying to replicate the concept?

This blogger has fond memories of The Southern in the late Eighties when it was a bit of a biker bar. As a ten stone nothing student goth, I was about as welcome as a bad case of piles but had many a fun night there nonetheless.

It’s good to see the old haunt enjoying some TLC again.