Leader: Bar venture may prove to be a cut above the rest

THERE are gastro pubs and disco bars, but it is hard to find a category for the watering hole that art impresario Rupert Thomson now plans for the Festival Fringe this year.

Getting pickled is barely the start of it. He has secured the Royal Dick Vet school in the capital to hold daily shows - and a Damien Hirst-style bar in the former dissection room, where animals in cases adorn the walls.

It hardly seems the most inviting of venues for that after-work refresher or a romantic evening tryst as patrons lean back to enjoy the exhibits. And over-indulging customers may have some difficulty in explaining outside what they really saw: "But officer, it really was a wee Scots terrier leaping out from the wall."

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Mr Thomson may have alighted on a unique way to reverse the dramatic decline of the pub as we know it. Why stop at a veterinary dissection room? The traditional snug bar may be a thing of the past. But why not open up a bar in a (disused) city funeral home, or a former crematorium for that extra existentialist tingle - surely no drier Martini to be had. Meanwhile, back in the Vets Dissection Arms, what might be appropriate to ask the barman, assuming he can be picked out from the exhibits? The old favourites never cease to delight: "A pint of formaldehyde, please, and a packet of crisps".