Raising the bar at Hidden Door

Hidden Door is a feast for the eyes – not only do we have a fantastic Arts program, but also has some beautifully designed bars… 5 in total. And there’s an interesting story behind each one!

The Organ Bar

The Organ Bar, so-called because it has been constructed using the original organ guts from the Usher Hall, can be found in the main auditorium. This stunning curved bar was a collaboration between Roland Watson and Dave Sibbering, who met just 2 weeks before the festival started. They had to pull a design together very quickly… and what a design it is!

The gantry is a work of art in itself, constructed from the curiously shaped parts of the organ’s workings. Look closely behind the fabulous range of wines and spirits for a glimpse of its previous life. Distressed aluminium sheets, blue in colour and originally belonging to an old ice-cream van, clad the curved front of the bar, above which pieces of the organ are suspended from the ceiling to mirror the curve. A fabulous selection of draught craft beers and ciders and a varied selection of spirits and wines are available here.

The Colonnades Bar

If it’s a sunny afternoon then join us at the Colonnades bar, designed around a series of deconstructed doors. Serving a selection of draught craft beers and cider as well as an extensive choice of spirits, wines and prosecco. You can also pick yourself up with a wonderful coffee, made by one of our Artistan Roast trained baristas.

And actually, even if we get a few drops of rain, we’ve got plenty of shelter under the Colannades with soft seating and tables for you to watch the world go by…

The Cinema Bar

Next we head on up to the Cinema Bar, an intimate and moody place to lounge. This bar was designed by Donald Watson and Steven Kavanagh. Using the existing sub-structure of the original art deco bar bar combined with a contemporary twist. The bar front is made out of a range of different types and lengths of wood to create a geometric design. The bar top contains integrated concrete interlaced with pre-fabricated resin which glows under the UV lights. This bar serves a range of bottled craft beers, ciders, spirits and wines.

The Balcony Bar

Overlooking the main auditorium stage, at the very top and to the rear of the balcony, is the Balcony Bar. Originally a lobby and locker areas, the bar here has been designed by Chris Dobson with an incredible art deco theme. Using different types and thicknesses of wood, he has created a geometric pattern which he’s painted in a bold colour scheme of black and yellow. Can you find the Hidden Door logo, which is carefully integrated into this beautiful design? The Balcony Bar serves prosecco, wines and a fabulous selection of sprits and bottled craft beers and ciders.

The Speakeasy

Finally, there’s our chilled-out Speakeasy Bar where you can be transported back to the ambience of a Jazz club in the Art Deco era. Complete with lounge seating and quirky details, our Speakeasy Bar serves a selection of craft bottle beers and ciders, wines and spirits!

The Speakeasy is perhaps the only part of the venue that you might recognise as Thomas Morton Hall, a popular venue for weddings and events which is already up and running as a functioning venue. Let’s hope that Hidden Door has provided the spark to bring the rest of the venue back to life permanently.

A word from our sponsors…

It wouldn’t be Hidden Door without a fantastic range of drinks, and we’re hugely grateful to the following drinks sponsors who have been so generous and supportive of making our humble, non-profit festival happen: Bacardi, Barney’s Beer, Edinburgh Beer Factory, Thistly Cross Cider, Great Grog, Blue Moon and Staropramen.


Words by Jill