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January 16, 2019

First up, Bertie's restaurant and bar threw a fantoosh launch party last night.

The Victoria Street fish and chip restaurant opened in December and has been packing them in ever since.

With 300 covers over two floors, it is an impressive operation which is powered by a beast of a frying range in the kitchen.

We have blogged several times before about Bertie's menu and the way in which it cleverly mixes and matches classic fish and chips with more modern twists.

So we're not going to repeat ourselves.

What we will say is that it is fantastic to see this venerable old building being given a vibrant new lease of life by a family of local restaurateurs.

And the George Michael tribute act was amazing.

Bertie's offers proper fish and chips

Bertie's offers proper fish and chips

Pull back from plastic

A short walk away, on Newington Road, The Refillery (main pic) is welcoming its first customers today.

The 5pm Food blog doesn't often cover food shops. We're normally all about the restaurants and bars.

Kelly Wright, founder of The Refillery.

Kelly Wright, founder of The Refillery.

However, we suspect that the eco-friendly concept behind The Refillery may well interest many readers.

Billed as 'one of Scotland’s first dedicated plastic-free grocery stores', The Refillery is the brainchild of Kelly Wright.

Aiming to cut down on the amount of packaging used in food retail, The Refillery offers an alternative by removing disposable packaging from the household goods on offer.  

Bringing their own tubs or containers, customers can fill them up, pay by weight, and head home happy in the knowledge that they are part of a solution to the global waste issue.

The shop sells everyday staples such as pasta and rice as well as carefully sourced, seasonal, organic and fresh produce such as eggs, fruit, vegetables and bread.

Kelly said:

'UK retailers generate around 800,000 tonnes of packaging waste per year and it’s believed that only a third actually gets recycled – that’s enormous!

'Our relationship with single-use plastic simply must change.  

'I’m excited to be joining the ranks of revolutionary businesses who are offering something radically different to combat our global waste issue.

'By offering a streamlined, ethical shopping experience, we do the hard work for you when it comes to looking after our planet.'

Grab a  slice of The High Dive

Finally, we notice that an empty bar unit on St Leonard's Street is coming back to life.

Over the years, the premises at 81-85 St Leonard's Street has been The Maltings, Monte and Montague's but it will re-open at an as yet unspecified date as The High Dive.

The team behind the Civerino's pizza joints promise it will deliver 'good drinks, great locals and music your parents won’t like'. 

If that isn't enough to entice you over the threshold then it has also been described as 'Twin Peaks meets hip hop, techno, Civerino's pizza and blue wicked and Negroni slushies'.

More info when it launches.