The Hanging Bat’s been hanging around on Edinburgh’s Lothian Road for nearly a year now, moving into the old Mr Modos premises in November 2012. Appropriately, The Bar Fly was able to get along for the first time in the week preceding Halloween.
On a wet Saturday evening, the bar took a little bit of spotting with its muted frontage. Once in though, there’s no doubt the place is warm and inviting. The lighting, colourful original artwork and wooden furniture (the bar looks like it’s been beautifully made with what looked like a carved batman on every tap) makes the place feel cosy despite being spread over two floors. And these guys must be doing something right because the place was bustling even as early as 6.30pm.
The Bat describes itself as a “beer cafe”, boasting of six cask and 14 keg beers on at any one time, as well as countless bottled options. Unfortunately that cask count was down to two on our visit but it’s still an impressive range of beer. And perusing the blackboard, I was pleased to see that prices were not over the top – £3.05, £3.15ish a pint it seemed. However, a closer look at said board revealed that this was the price for a 2/3 pint glass, or a schooner as they’re known. My fingers had been burned by this in the past at The Vintage down in Leith and I have to admit that I’m not a huge fan of the practice. I know we should all be more refined and continental but habits are hard to break.
As this was a flying visit (if you’ll pardon the pun), there was no time to sample any of the food on offer, either from the menu or the various cakes, pretzels and snacks from the bar. A look at the menu though did show that The Bat is certainly on trend with an offering of pulled pork sandwiches and hot dogs. Now, I’m a fan of the hot dog as I’ve talked about in the past, but it seems you can’t be a new bar without offering them – I give you The Huxley, Jeremiah’s Tap, etc. I believe this current trend started with the likes of Bubble Dogs in London and shows no sign of abating.
Would I return to the Hanging Bat? Yes, I would. I’m not sure it would be for post-work drinks with mates (we’d really struggle with the no pints thing) but possibly with Mrs Bar Fly and another couple if we were in the area as a lot of the seating seemed ideal for couples and small groups. Plus, I need to check out the bathroom sinks that are apparently something to behold.
“Happiness is measured in schooners” apparently, according to the bar’s website. I remain unconvinced on this point but then maybe I’m just miserable.