Edinburgh’s first social enterprise pub launches.

Revelers in the capital can enjoy a cocktail with a conscience at the new Southside Social.

Pub interior image

Image first published on Southside Social Facebook page.


Edinburgh’s first social enterprise pub opened its doors to the public earlier this month. The Southside Social will donate all of its profits to good causes while training young people for a career in the hospitality industry. Opening in the former premises of the Meadow Bar in the city’s Buccleuch Street, the new bar will serve quality food and drink while supporting the local community.

Visitors will be served by young people training for a certificate of work readiness who undertake a 19-week training program – a mix between classroom-based training, on-the-job training and work experience.

Photo first published on @EdinSocialPub.

Photo first published on @EdinSocialPub.

The program will also include qualifications in, for example, the Scottish Certificate for Personal License Holders (SCPLH), first aid at work, fire marshaling and food hygiene.

Trainees will also have the opportunity to sit 14 further industry specific modules through an on-line learning system.

It is envisaged that the rest of Edinburgh’s hospitality industry will use the pub as a way of recruiting well-trained, highly skilled and experienced new staff.

Chris Thewlis, one of the operators of the Southside Social, said: “It’s a fresh new concept within the social enterprise model and a groundbreaking new social venue for the people of Edinburgh to enjoy – something that I think will be welcomed in the city.

“By visiting the pub, customers will be able to support good causes while being served by some of the best-trained staff in the city. What’s not to like?

Photo first published on @EdinSocialPub.

Photo first published on @EdinSocialPub.

“Our aim is to help young people gain the skills, knowledge and experience required to make a career in the hospitality industry. We also hope that industry recruiters will treat the pub like a shop window, by dropping in and being served by prospective employees, who will be honing and showcasing their new skills on every shift they work.”

Stewart Grant, regional manager from Star Pubs and Bars, said: “We were looking for a fantastic and innovative use of the venue from a new lessee and this is wonderful. We are very pleased to support this excellent, worthwhile venture.

The Southside Social opened to the public on Monday, 3rd August 2015 and held its official launch party on Friday, 7th August.


The above article by Robert Armour first published on thirdforcenews.org.uk in 2015.