Edinburgh pub Ryrie’s thrives following £1.6m funding package from RBS

Ryrie’s, one of Edinburgh’s oldest pubs, is going from strength to strength following restoration by new owners, thanks to a funding deal worth £1.6 million from Royal Bank of Scotland.

Edinburgh pub Ryrie's thrives following £1.6m funding package from RBS

 David Stewart and Christian Stewart

Ryrie’s, originally built in the 1800s as a fuelling station for horse and carts, has had its exterior and interior restored to its former glory after £250k worth of refurbishment by new owners D M Stewart Ltd, which bought the Haymarket stalwart just before the pandemic for £2.9 million.

The lending by The Royal Bank of Scotland to the 150-year-old family-run business allowed brothers Christian and David Stewart to add to their portfolio of impressive freehold sites in Scotland’s capital. Use of The Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS) supported the business during the pandemic and allowed the company to quickly progress the pub’s restoration.

Edinburgh pub Ryrie's thrives following £1.6m funding package from RBS

Banking with Royal Bank of Scotland since the 1990s, D M Stewart Ltd was grateful for the support received from the bank, allowing the business to go ahead with not only the purchase and restoration of Ryrie’s, but also to continue employing bar staff allowing for a quick return to trading across its sites when restrictions eased.

With aims to continue to build upon its four Victorian Public Houses across Edinburgh, D M Stewart Ltd reopened Ryrie’s in February 2022 having weathered the pandemic. The venue has enjoyed great success ever since with new and regular customers visiting to eat, drink and socialise.

Edinburgh pub Ryrie's thrives following £1.6m funding package from RBS

Christian Stewart, joint managing director at D M Stewart Ltd, said: “Once we had purchased the site with the assistance of The Royal Bank of Scotland, we were determined to return the space to its heyday in 1906 when it was redesigned by the famous city architect Robert McFarlane Cameron. It was important for us to refine what Ryrie’s already had rather than following trends and fads within the sector.

“We are lucky enough to have a banking partner which understands our business vision, as well as the Edinburgh commercial property market. Welcoming back customers to soak in the beauty of one of the city’s oldest public houses has been delight for our entire team. We’re pleased to report that Ryrie’s has created and helped retain jobs for our staff, with the expectation of more to come with the return of tourists and as the development of Haymarket progresses.”

Jason Cram, relationship director at RBS, added: “Although they specialise in classic style pubs, D M Stewart Ltd has always been forward thinking in its approach to the protection of traditional pubs and what they mean to the community they are located within. It’s been brilliant to be able to support this family-run business and see Ryrie’s succeed thanks to the hard-work of D M Stewart Ltd and its committed staff.”

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