The Old Chain Pier Bar
At the shore end of the Chain Pier, on Trinity Crescent, a stone building was constructed to serve as a booking office for the steamer services. This may have incorporated a bar for passengers or perhaps the general public. After the steamer services stopped, the whole building became a public bar. The appearance of the building has changed considerably over the years. In the photographs above and below, taken before 1909, the building has a small tower on the roof but this was later removed.
The pub was run for many years – at least as far back as 1901 and possibly earlier – by the Moss family. In 1901 the pub was run by Arthur Moss, and his name appeared on the building until at least 1971. They lived directly opposite the pub at 16 Trinity Crescent, now known as ‘Pier House’. In 1905 the pub was in the hands of Mr Arthur Moss of 16 Trinity Crescent.
One of the best-known members of the family in more recent times was Betty Moss. Her customers included seafarers who brought back souvenirs of their trips including flags, postcards and various other objects which covered the walls. The pub is also said to have been one of the first in the area to have had a colour TV, in the 1960s. At closing time, Betty Moss was apparently in the habit of brandishing a cutlass or a gun (not loaded!) to encourage customers to drink up and leave.
© Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Scotland.
Licensor www.scran.ac.uk. Ref 000-299-989-777-R
After she died in the early 1970s, the pub was bought by a brewery chain who extended it at the west (Granton) end and modernised it. In the late 1970s the slated roof seen in the above picture had a higher and steeper roof built on top of it and covered with red tiles.
In 1998 a single storey conservatory was added at the east (Newhaven) end, and provided a larger dining area. This was done shortly after road improvements were carried out including the provision of trees and shrubs on Trinity Crescent, providing decorative lights on the sea wall and relaying the pavement.
In 2004, the building was gutted by fire, the roof and interior being very badly damaged. Only the conservatory was unaffected. Subsequently, the building was reconstructed and operated as a bar and restaurant.
The bar closed on 31 July 2011. Following refurbishment and alteration, it re-opened on Thursday 10 May 2012.