Monday, May 28, 2012

#251. The Grapes, 77 Clerk St, Edinburgh

Oh what a difference simply crossing the street can make when it comes to pubs in Edinburgh. One minute you're in Athens of the North, and the next you're on the set of Trainspotting. Places like The Grapes bring out the misanthropist in me. It should be called The Sour Grapes, or The Grapes of Wrath, or simply The Most Depressing Place on Earth.

Horse racing was on the telly. Yes, the Sport of Kings. I drank a McEwans 70/-, which only cost two quid. That must be why the place was packed on a Monday afternoon with older, tattooed fellas.

Several handmade signs on the exterior insist on 25+ only, and no football colours. The interior was completely nondescript, almost like a cafeteria; designed for ease of cleaning and maintenance, I suppose. The whole time I'm seated I feel slightly afraid, like I could be headbutted at any moment.

The following day, after a sober second thought, I wondered if I wasn't being a little too harsh on the place, given that the interior was clean and the staff seemed decent and friendly. But then I found some reviews on Yelp and realized that it wasn't just me who found the vibe rather disturbing. To wit...
This is where dreams go to die... Living close by I pass this place frequently and its aura just makes me want to run a warm bath and listen to Jeff Buckley and cry.  
Regarding the clientele:
At any given time of the morning/afternoon/evening there will be at least 3 people over the age of 45, with about 6 teeth between them, smoking their 500th cigarette of the day in the doorway whilst already absolutely wasted.
The only reviewer to give The Grapes more than one star had this to say:
I think some of the reviewers have been a bit harsh on The Grapes, as in my opinion it does provide a useful public service of some sort. It keeps a significant number of unemployable, dangerous and disease-ridden individuals off the streets, and provides them with a rewarding way in which to spend taxpayers money.
Apparently The Grapes has a license that permits an early opening and to serve alcohol beginning at 6 AM. Good times!

I am not sure how to tag this pub. On one hand, it was extremely memorable, but for all the wrong reasons. Calling it forgettable, as I usually label pubs not worth a visit, would be disingenuous. So I have created the new godawful tag in honour of The Grapes.

1 comment:

Jose said...

Wow, the picture says a thousand words. I feel sad for those ppl.