I@G Events makes drinks the heroes at two Star Pubs & Bars refurbishments

17th July 2014

Work has begun by Star Pubs & Bars in partnership with multiple operator, I@G Events on refurbishing two prime Edinburgh sites, The Spider’s Web in Morrison Street in the West End and The Volunteer Arms in Leith Walk.

Both pubs are being renamed in the process in homage to the drinks they will showcase.  The Spider’s Web will become The Jolly Botanist, so-called because of the botanical ingredients found in gin, and The Volunteer Arms will become The Cask & Still.

£500k is being spent by Star Pubs & Bars and I@G Events1 transforming The Jolly Botanist into what they believe will be one of the best food and drinks pubs in the area and Edinburgh’s best gin emporium.  The pub will re-open after the Edinburgh International Festival.   

A new kitchen is being installed to enable the pub to serve food for the first time.  The inside of The Jolly Botanist has been reconfigured to increase the upstairs bar’s capacity by 40% and will have a light, airy and theatrical décor to compliment the pub’s botanical theme.  It will be possible to open the whole new glass frontage of the building to allow inside-out alfresco dining in a partitioned-off pavement area.

The pub, which is located close to Haymarket station will have a broad appeal, attracting tourists, residents and business people and will have capacity for 300. 

£70K is also being spent refurbishing The Volunteer Arms which will become a showcase for beer and whisky when it re-opens at the end of July as The Cask & Still.

Iain Pert of I@G Events said of The Jolly Botanist:  “We wanted to create a sophisticated yet fun environment with a mysterious and intoxicating atmosphere which harks back to a golden age of exploration and discovery reminiscent of Jules Verne.   We’ll stock over 100 gins and as well as offering casual dining with a twist, with a special liquid gin tasting menu and a three course dining menu to include gins for each course.

“With the pub’s fantastic location and the financial support of Star Pubs & Bars we’re well placed to capitalise on the new Haymarket development and give the area an exciting venue.

“We’ve also taken on another pub with Star Pubs & Bars, The Volunteer Arms in Leith Walk  which will become a showcase for  beer and whisky and will open as The Cask & Still  at the end of July.  We’re working closely with the Caledonian Brewery on this venture and will have a special whisky and beer tasting room.  We’re going to serve pork pies with different pickles and ponies of beer.” 

Says Chris Jowsey of Star Pubs & Bars:  “Iain and Gordon have done a fantastic job with McSorleys and now are investing with us in a further two pubs in prime Edinburgh locations.  They’ll both have the HEINEKEN Smart Dispense, which guarantees excellent quality beer all the time and Heineken Extra Cold.

“Each of the pubs that I@G Events is leasing from us has a distinct offer – music with great drinks and food McSorleys,  a gin specialism along with other premium drinks and food at

The Jolly Botanist and a marriage of beer and whisky at The Cask & Still.  What they have in common is quality.  As HEINEKEN is passionate about beer and cider quality and the service provided by pubs, it is an ideal partnership.  We wish them well with these two new exciting ventures which will appeal to both tourists and locals.”


- ENDS –


Issued on behalf of:                                                                 For further information:

Star Pubs & Bars                                                                     Siobhan FitzPatrick

                                                                                             07956 542558

                                                                                             Or Iain Pert, I@G Events

17th July 2014                                                                         07585 553137


1. I@G Events is run by former director of Festival Inns, Iain Pert, & Gordon Gilhooley, who previously owned the Castle Night Club in the West End.  The duo also have No1 Grange Rd, Scotts Bar in Rose Street  and the Standard bar in Howe street.