The team behind top Edinburgh bars including Boda and Hemma will open a new haunt by the canal this summer.
Akva will open its doors in June with the team behind five of the city’s known spots, Boda, Sofi’s, Victoria, Joseph Pearce’s and Hemma, bringing a taste of Sweden to the Union Canal.
Opening in the former Cargo bar, the new venture is the team's largest project to date and will transform the two-storey venue into a cosy Swedish cafe bar.
Anna Christopherson, the owner of the bars, said she hopes Akva will bring a new vibe to Edinburgh Quay.
“The idea is that it is going to be called Akva, which means water because we are next to the canal,” Anna said.
“We would like it to be a cafe bar, very much cafe lunch style during the day and party bar at night time. I think it suits for both.
“I think this area is lovely and when I was out taking down the signs, people were stopping me and saying it's so lovely and asking what we are going to do.
“It's becoming more vibrant up here.”
During the day, the bar will take on a relaxing cafe vibe including a children’s corner and library, serving up a Swedish lunch buffet.
At night, the bar will turn to cocktails, live music and events with a Scandinavian-influenced menu.
“For lunch, we want to try something Swedish with a lunch buffet, something that is quick but healthy food for people that work in all the offices,” Anna said.
The Swedish style will not only be echoed in the menu, but the look of the bar will take on the team’s known Scandinavian twist.
“Our idea now is to soften it up and make it a warmer and comforting place,” Anna said.
“All the furniture comes from Sweden and it will have a mix of furniture. Parts are going to be longer kitchen tables where lots of people can sit, other places are going to be more cosy sofas, armchairs and we want to make a small library in the front.
“Upstairs, there will be lots of sofas and dining tables around the windows, so you can sit by the light and eat.
“There will be small tables where you can just sit and work on a computer.
“Basically you choose when you come in what you are going to do.”
The upstairs space will also become the main area for events, from produce markets to DJ sets.
“I think it’s very much a hub for the whole area, I hope that's what it's going to be anyway,” Anna said.
“The upstairs is also going to be used for events so when, for example, anyone has a birthday party or the rugby is on.
“It's going to be quite flexible, so we can say 'what are we going to do tonight?' then move all the furniture and make this into a ceilidh dancing space.
“It's not going to be perfect to start with, it takes a long time and small things are going to appear and things are going to change.
“I think we're very open to any ideas, so if people have ideas, let's do that.”
Anna is now looking for inspiration for the bar from the drink's menu to the event space and will post any updates via the Akva Facebook page.
The bar plans to open in mid-June in time for the Union Canal Festival with a DJ set with Vic Galloway.