A brief history of Hidden Door’s pop-up bars

Legendary Edinburgh brewer Innis & Gunn is sponsoring this year’s festival and will be pouring a selection of their award-winning beers – including their award-winning Lager Beer, Session IPA, Mangoes on the Run and flagship The Original, a unique single malt whisky cask matured brew.

Hidden Door aficionados will know that our festival bars are always something to behold – and it’s not just delicious beers that make them worth a visit.

Here’s a short history of our unique, custom-built bars…

The Organ Bar, Leith Theatre

The iconic “organ bar” at Leith Theatre was built by our volunteers in 2017 from the reclaimed old Usher Hall organ. This eye-catching installation was more art than bar, lighting up the corner of the main auditorium. Even better, the bar remains there to this day – a parting gift for our friends at Leith Theatre who so kindly hosted us from 2017-19.

State Cinema Bar

In 2018 we got access to the old State Cinema in Leith and transformed it with music, film, spoken word and special events. Thirsty punters could stop by our Art Deco-style Cinema Bar, built by Splintr and furnished with plants and with moody lighting to give this a real speakeasy vibe.

The Speakeasy

Talking of which, in 2017 we also took over the function hall at Leith Theatre for the Hidden Door Speakeasy, a place to hang out and enjoy spoken word, live music and talks by candlelight. This was probably as chilled out as we get. Whisky Sour, anyone?

Blood on the Dance Floor

2018 saw EIFF Play: Blade, a collaboration with Edinburgh International Film Festival. Audiences explored the Leith Theatre, transformed into a vampiric night club, before settlinh in to watch the seminal 90s horror classic. For those in need of refreshment, our secret backstage bar served boozy “blood phials” for the vampires and “serum shots” for the hunters. Which side did you choose?

The Colonnade Bar

The Leith Theatre colonnades provided us with the perfect setting for our outdoor bar – a little bit of shelter if the rain came, but a real sun trap for those sunny days. The front of the bar was decorated by our friends at the Edinburgh Tool Library, working with the local community.

The Long Room Bar

Going back to 2016, we opened up a long room at the King’s Stable Road street lighting depot as our main live music venue. At the back of this wonderful space could be found this gloriously colourful bar, beautifully decorated by artist Rhona Taylor.

2021 – our first Beach Bar!

This year we’re working with festival sponsor Innis & Gunn to build a number of bars for you to stop by and grab a drink.

One highlight will be our Beach Bar, set in a sunny spot outside the warehouse with views down to Granton Beach and across the Firth of Forth to Fife. We’ll have deckchairs to lounge in and music from our DJ Booth, welcoming the likes of EHFM and Turning The Tables to play some tunes to go with your brews.

See you there!