Harry's goes to the suburbs

Crowdfunding backs social enterprise pub

Chris Thewlis
Chris Thewlis: changing lives (photo by Terry Murden)

Beer for Good, Britain’s first social enterprise bar group, plans to bring a touch of west end Edinburgh to the suburbs, backed by a crowdfunding campaign.

Southside Social, in Buccleuch Street, which opened in August 2015, will close for a couple of weeks at the end of August for its refit, reopening as Harry’s Southside in mid-September.

It is being developed by Chris Thewlis who was responsible for relaunching Edinburgh’s West End institution Harry’s Bar last summer. Beer for Good also owns Café 4 Good in the city’s Drumbrae area.

Central to the makeover of Southside will be the provision of improved facilities, most notably a new training and production kitchen, and a range of new opportunities to help boost people’s employment potential in the catering and hospitality industry.

Training courses and modern apprenticeships for youngsters disengaged from learning will also be a key focus at Harry’s Southside.

A £40,000 crowdfunding initiative has been launched today to facilitate the project as BFG continues its drive to transform the lives of people from difficult or disadvantaged backgrounds.

Mr Thewlis, a director of BFG, said: “We continue to work tirelessly to try to change lives for the better and hospitality can give youngsters a decent career and an escape from a bad environment.

“We promote the highest possible standards in hospitality and vocational training services, providing an exciting pathway for individuals to achieve their full potential through inclusivity and transparency.

“Southside Social was Edinburgh’s first Social Enterprise pub and with this makeover we plan to take it to the next level and start an exciting journey for even more people.

“Money raised via the crowdfunding vehicle will allow us to plough investment into countless more vocational training projects for the community and create a more practical and viable business at Harry’s Southside.”

Since its incorporation in April 2016, Beer For Good CIC has seen its turnover increase from £120,000 to £660,000, creating 19 jobs with employees passing more than 130 courses certified by the British Institute of Innkeepers.

In the last year, both Harry’s Bar and Southside Social have been announced as winners of BII Best New Initiative 2017.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked as *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.