Bar Review: The Hanging Bat, Edinburgh

Opening its double doors in November 2012, The Hanging Bat on 133 Lothian Road, Edinburgh will not keep you in a dark world of undecided. Part of a crop of crafty, craft beer-selling bars springing up across the Scottish capital, it throws light on an olde-worlde meets trendy bar establishment. The décor is as traditional as the atmosphere, providing a suitable venue to bat your eyelids on your first or second date. One sunny afternoon the team were lucky enough to sample the Bat’s wares. Here’s what we thought:…

Andy’s verdict

An incurable real ale lover, I am an occasional customer to this time-warped-yet honoured bar. For a lunch time bar snack and drink, I plunked for the Salt Beef Sub, washed down with a schooner (1/3 of pint) of Dark Star Revelations. Although a little on the pricey side, the food and ale were both delicious, both promptly and cheerfully served by a professional aproned member of staff.

Hang the Bat on a date?

“Definitely a place to get to know your date, though make sure you bag a table early as the ‘Bat gets busy’, especially at weekends. Also, watch your step with the 8.5% proof ale, one of 150 beers available with classy wines and food menu: it may slur your sweet nothings if you have one too many!”

Killian’s verdict

No-one could scoff at the promise of barbeque food prepared on “our own smoker and dog griddle” on a sunny afternoon in May. So the prospect of joining a visit to the Hanging Bat was a welcome one. The first thing that hits you when you walk in is the decor: a combination of the original, bare old stone walls and a trendy wood panelling effect with thoughtful retro lighting. The format is simple: get your own table and order food and drink at the bar.

This place is really about the beer and there is certainly lots of it. I went for a schooner of the Cromarty “Hip the Lip” – a smooth 3.8% number that went down all too easily. I’m a bit of a traditionalist so for food I went for the Alsatian – a delicious dog with sauerkraut and mustard, which I can assure you left me neither hungry nor disappointed. The beauty of the Hanging Bat is its ‘straightforwardness with a twist’. The quirkiness here hits just the right balance: what you get is all the simplicity and convenience of relaxed pub service with something just a little different.


A date to the Bat Cave?

“I certainly would but it depends on the kind of date. Maybe not a first-date place unless you’re sure your date is a beer enthusiast. To me, this is a third date kind of place. You’ve got past the first date and pulled that ace from out of your sleeve for the second. Now it’s time for something a little more relaxed.”

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