A new partnership celebrating ‘the father of pop art’ is to open the Paolozzi Restaurant and Bar in Edinburgh.
Nonna’s Kitchen Owner, Gino Stornaiuolo, and Edinburgh Beer Factory founders, John and Lynne Dunsmore, are partnering to open Paolozzi Restaurant & Bar at 61 Forrest Road, Edinburgh, previously an RBS site.
Named after the Edinburgh-born Eduardo Paolozzi, the venture will combine beer, food and art to celebrate the Great Scot and wider Italian Scottish culture.
Edinburgh Beer Factory’s flagship beer brand, Paolozzi lager, features Eduardo’s ‘Illumination and the Eye’ screenprint on its packaging. For every beer sold, the brewery pays a charitable donation to the Paolozzi Foundation. Taps of fresh Paolozzi lager and other beers from the EBF range, brewed less than five miles from the Restaurant & Bar, will be available to wash down the Italian Scottish food offering.
The menu has been designed by Gino, who will run the operation, and features ‘spuntini’ (Italian tapas-style sharing dishes served at the bar), antipasti, fresh salads, ‘build your own’ salumi and cheese plates, Naples style wood-fired pizza and some classic larger plates. Dishes will be created using ingredients from local producers alongside premium international imports.
Gino owned and managed the successful Nonna’s Kitchen restaurant in Edinburgh’s Churchill, after working in Hanover Street’s Patio restaurant, alongside his parents in both venues. Nonna’s Kitchen was an early customer of Edinburgh Beer Factory, and the Dunsmore family have been loyal patrons of the restaurant since its launch.
Eduardo Paolozzi artwork will adorn the walls and the interior design has a distinctly Paolozzi feel, with geometric shapes, contrasting textures and bright colour accents.
A sculptural bar will dominate the front area of the venue, with walk-in space and casual seating, while a cupola is being installed in the back of the space, bringing natural light to the dining tables and a touch of the outdoors to the former bank recesses. The old bank deposit vaults are being transformed into colourful toilets, which will play audio clips of stories about Eduardo Paolozzi and some of his works.
The building work itself has been a ‘Paolozzi-esque’ act of transformation, uncovering two historic city features.
Work on the restaurant frontage revealed a beautifully painted ‘Surgical Instrument Makers’ ghost sign dating back to the late 19th Century, when Archibald Young supplied equipment to the Royal Infirmary across the road.
Inside the building, a portion of the Telfer Wall, part of Edinburgh’s old town walls, has been unearthed and will remain an exposed feature in the newvenue.
The site is a short walk from both the Edinburgh College of Art, where Eduardo Paolozzi was a student and later a lecturer, and the University of Edinburgh, who hold a sizeable collection of his artworks and sculptures.
Eduardo was known to donate sculptures to particular restaurants in return for food, which he would in turn gift to his students by taking them out for lunch en masse.
Gino Stornaiuolo said: ‘This partnership evolved from two family businesses with shared values of independence, accessible quality and a love of Edinburgh’s international culture and creativity. We hope to enrich the city’s thriving independent food and drink scene while promoting one of its great unsung heroes.’
Paolozzi Restaurant & Bar is due to open to the public for lunch, dinner, coffee and drinks from March, and will take bookings at www.paolozzirestaurantandbar.co.uk.