John Gibson: This place has to be a treasure
Right, men! Cutlasses at dawn. But keep me out of it. Charming individuals, I'm sure. I've got Franco Martone telling me Robert Louis Stevenson habitually quaffed a refreshment at his place, Ciao Roma on South Bridge.
Other side of town the acerbic Alan Bogue, who has the Cramond Gallery Bistro in the village, is assuring me that's "nonsense". He insists the literary legend preferred, rather, to enjoy a few sherbets in the bistro.
Sort it out between yourselves. As it happened I'd dropped into Ciao Roma for the first time since . . . well, since I'd slip in from the late live shows or film premieres at the nearby Odeon.
I first met Franco when his father-in-law was George Farm, a goalkeeper of repute for Hibernian and latterly for Blackpool at Wembley.
Franco, from Benevento, near Naples, has been here since 1979, he had Ferri's opposite the Playhouse in 1982 and three years ago, with Ciao Roma well established, he bought the pub next door from Kevin Doyle, knocked down a wall and now the expanded premises is a veritable treasure island of a wine and dine venue. Its lifelike pirates were made to order in Italy.
Franco, hooked on RLS, welcomed last summer a (very) distant relative of Stevenson's.
''Well into her 80s, she's a treasure,'' says Franco, ''and we hope she'll be back this summer.''
I must delve into the archives to see if RLS. was partial to a pizza with his pint.
Afterwords . .
... I'd do a commercial about discounted Zimmers for STV for free. Only if they guarantee not to use their dreadful garbler of a link woman.
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Wednesday 22 May 2013
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