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Global bites galore as Checkpoint checks in for a permanent stay

Global bites galore as Checkpoint checks in for a permanent stay

During the Festival Fringe, many foodie ventures come and go.

From trucks taking over pavements dishing out street food to abandoned buildings transformed into pop-up restaurants, there are plenty of options to tuck in.

If you're a Fringe foodie, you may have popped by Checkpoint during August. The good news is the restaurant will now become a permanent fixture in Edinburgh.

Run by Simon Donne and Nik Whybrew, the venue has been created over the last year following the duo’s work with Assembly Festival.

  (© Checkpoint)
via STV via STV

“We are an independent company and we've been working on this project for close to two years,” Simon explained.

“Nik and I worked together for about eight years as we used to be involved running the bars for Assembly Festival and we also worked down in London on the Riverside Studios bar in Hammersmith.

“We looked at opening our own place for a while now but were waiting on the right site.

“It just so happened that Assembly have been in the building during the festival over the last few years and we fell upon the chance to lease it and start to develop it into a restaurant.”

  (© Checkpoint)
via STV via STV

Spending the last year refurbishing the B-listed building, the team aimed to create a relaxed spot for enjoying a meal.

“Our focus was to make sure we maintained the character of the building, but at the same time gave it a slightly newer identity,” Simon said.

“Our idea is to make a space where people feel like they can come in and relax, whether it be for breakfast or brunch from 9.30am in the morning, or for a sit down for a three-course meal, or just grab a takeaway coffee.

“We want to let it organically develop, which is pretty much how it's been from the start.

“We very much set out with a plan to create a space for people to eat and drink and we've allowed it to organically grow from there.

“You see a lot of chain bars and restaurants that are exactly the same, it has a very commercial feel to it.

“We're not a rigid restaurant, we like people to feel more comfortable.”

  (© Checkpoint)
via STV via STV

Instead of a fixed menu with set courses, the team has developed a wide range of international dishes to choose from.

With 'daybreak dishes' to start the day to 'substantial bites', the menu encompasses breakfast, lunch and dinner platefuls from crab topped crumpets to salads and steaks.

Our menu is internationally influenced,” Simon said.

“The concept behind the food has been very much around sharing and using the whole table, rather than having an a la carte menu were you have one dish and that's what you eat.

“We're trying to encourage people to share and have lots of different tastes.

“It is a bit more interesting than just an a la carte menu with the starter, main and dessert, the menu is very rewarding and the food is top notch."

Checkpoint is now open daily from 9.30am to midnight at 3 Bristo Place.

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