The Brattisanis are cashing in their chips

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THE business was started more than 100 years ago by their grandfather - but now the Brattisani brothers have finally decided to cash in their chips.

Charles and Joe Brattisani are to sell the final shop in their Edinburgh fish and chip empire, which started more than a century ago when their grandfather arrived from Italy and opened his first shop in Stockbridge.

The last chippy in the family, at 85-87 Newington Road, has been owned and run by the brothers since 1973.

The pair sold their other shop, on Morrison Street, Haymarket, 18 months ago.

Now in their 50s, they have no family who want to take on the business and have decided to sell the shop, which will remain open while it is on the market.

"Nobody else in the family can take it over," said Charles, who has one daughter, aged 24.

He said: "We want to retire from the fish and chip business now.

"It was a good business to be in, but it means working long hours, at night, and there’s always something else that has to be done. We just want to slow down a bit. We feel there’s more to life than just work."

Charles, who also has an antique business, said he would miss the job.

He said: "I think if you’ve been in a business for so many years, it is a big thing. The fact my grandfather was in it and my father means it’s been such a part of the family for so long. I have other businesses, but I’m still better known for fish and chips than for anything else.

"We were brought up as children to work in the shop, peeling potatoes in the holidays." He said people around the globe would miss the traditional fish and chips produced in the shop.

"It’s known throughout the world as a top fish and chip shop. People say it’s an institution. My daughter met people when she was travelling in Australia and South America who knew the Brattisani fish and chip shop."

The original Stockbridge shop on Church Lane was kept going by Charles and Joe’s grandmother when their grandfather went back to Italy to join the army during the First World War.

On his return, the pair opened the Deep Sea shop, which is still open on Antigua Street, recognised widely for years as Edinburgh’s best chippy.

The shop was sold in the 1920s to fellow fish and chip family Crolla, who also own the G Crolla fish and chip shop on Gorgie Road.

Joe also owned a shop at Brougham Place, Tollcross, while Charles bought one at Henderson Row in 1965.

John Downie, spokesman for the Federation of Small Businesses, said he was sad to see the Brattisani shops close.

"It’s a big issue for a lot of family businesses, particularly when there are no family members left who can or want to take it on," he said.

"Unfortunately, long-established businesses often have to close when the owner wants to sell up and retire. It’s disappointing to see long-standing family businesses go."

Newington councillor Fred Mackintosh added: "It’s such a shame it’s going. It was a very good place to get fish and chips. Not many places do sit-in fish and chips any more.

"The whole restaurant is a place of character with all of the original fittings. It’s more than just a chippy. You walk inside there and feel like you’ve been transported back to the 1960s."