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Restaurant building on reputation

Celebrity eaterie reopens after makeover

Maison BleueOne of Edinburgh’s best-known independent restaurants, a popular haunt for celebrity diners, has undergone a six-figure refurbishment to stay among the city’s top league of eating out venues.

Maison Bleue in popular Victoria Street was founded 17 years ago by owner Dean Gassabi and offers a fusion of French, Scottish and North African food styles.

Now the 70-cover restaurant has reopened after a month-long shutdown and Mr Gassabi is hoping his famous guests will return.

Celebrity customers have included actors Kristen Scott Thomas and Kiefer Sutherland. In 2003 it hosted to Gwen Stefani’s (pictured) exclusive birthday party and more recently has become a firm favourite of Tom Hanks’ daughter, Elizabeth.

Gwen Stefani pinterestTom also dined in the restaurant with his family on a number of occasions when he was visiting his daughter who studied at the University of St Andrews.

Mr Gassabi acknowledged that the city now has a competitive restaurant scene and he hopes the investment will ensure Maison Bleue builds on its reputation.

“The more high-quality restaurants we have, the more we build a reputation as a thriving, cultured European capital,” said Mr Gassabi, whose daughter Layla (both pictured top) is now closely involved in the day-to-day running of the restaurant.

“While Edinburgh has thousands of food outlets, you can count on your hands the number of independent restaurants in the city centre which have been around for 15 years or more,” he said.

“We are extremely proud to be among that small number. As a result, we’ve earned a reputation as an Edinburgh institution and we also see this as an investment in this wonderful city.”

Mr Gassabi appointed SBS as the main contractor while Edinburgh interior decorator Grant Rough, of Rough Designs was employed to bring out the best of the Gothic building’s interior.

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