An Edinburgh entrepreneur is understood to be closing in on a deal to purchase the Dalriada Hotel on Portobello Promenade with the intention of converting the building into a luxury home.

The prominent hotel and bar had been marketed by Rettie & Co for sale at offers of over £950,000. The popular bar will be transformed in to a single private home and with a likely investment of £500,000 required to upgrade the property, the former Dalriada could become Portobello’s first £2 million home.

The beachside Victorian villa attracted huge interest when it went on the market, with several serious bidders from the hospitality industry looking at developing the site, and a number of private individuals seeking a unique residence.

The Dalriada – could become Portobello’s first £2 million private residence

Billy Lowe, the successful bar and hotel operator who owns the Black Ivy, was said to be interested and planned to replicate the strategy which had turned his Brunstfield Links venue in to one of Edinburgh’s most popular venues. However, talks stalled and Mr Lowe pulled out of negotiations before the onset of the coronavirus pandemic.

For the last 16 years the Dalriada has been owned and run by Terry and Alison Magill and has been a popular venue for live folk music, jam sessions, comedy evenings and a firm favourite with families, locals and visitors enjoying the beach.

Rettie & Co sales literature said that should a buyer want to restore the ground floor public areas and upper apartment in to one home it would create an “impressive and substantial family abode”.

A source told The Edinburgh Reporter: “The Dalriada was the setting for many local family celebrations and a really popular music venue, but it appears it has served its last pint and held its last jam session. An Edinburgh businessman has snapped it up and it is said he will convert it in to one very impressive family home.”

Popular Portobello bar has served its last pint

The Dalriada is a B-listed Rogue Baronial villa dating from 1869 and was designed by Edinburgh architect James Campbell Walker for William Griffiths Esq. Campbell’s architectural career focussed mostly on schools, churches and poorhouses and his grander projects included Dunfermline Carnegie Library and Hawick Town Hall.

In the 1880s the home, known as Beachborough Villa, was owned by prominent Portobello businessman Robert Cooper, proprietor of Forth & Rosebank Bottleworks at Baileyfield, which in 1898 employed 180 men, 50 boys, and produced annually six million bottles.

In 1970 the villa was converted in to a hotel, trading as The Temple Hall Hotel, before later changing its name to The Dalriada.