Controversy over popular site

Cafe in the square up for tender

st Andrew SqOne of Edinburgh’s most popular coffee destinations is to change hands for a third time in a year. A tender is being issued to run the cafe in the glass building at the northeast corner of St Andrew Square.

There was an outcry last year when, after six years, Razzo Cafe was put out of business by Essential Edinburgh who terminated the lease.

According to the Edinburgh Reporter website, Essential Edinburgh – which runs the business improvement district – said  there had been ongoing breaches of the lease which gave them no option but to serve the eviction notice.

It was kept going by a temporary operator until last weekend, when it closed. Daily Business now learns that another temporary cafe operator, Saltire Hospitality, which runs the cafe at the Royal Highland Showground, has taken over  until the end of the tender process in two months time. Tenders must come from firms within the city boundary.

The most recent operator has erected parasols and tables outside the cafe, but there is an ongoing issue around a lack of public toilets.

The gardens have been the subject of public concern after the festive season left them looking like a mud heap.

Turfing has been taking place, but will be covered again for the Festival.

Permanent paving of the central area around the statute would seem to be a more permanent solution, but this has not been considered.

At least the reinstatement of the gardens is paid for by the temporary stallholders and not by council taxpayers.

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