For some years we had been looking for a central venue that we could combine live entertainment with dining and next-level cocktails. Eventually we struck gold in 2006 with our site visit to this well-known but dilapidated Edinburgh building (formerly The Cafe Royal Bistro Bar), with its lush history, numerous spaces and glaring potential.
It would have been a crime to do anything other than restore all the original features, woodwork and plasterwork; which we did (at considerable expense and time!) Add a touch of black and gold, an underlying fun tiki theme, a management team brimming with explorational cocktail needs, sixty tequilas and sixty rums, a cracking kitchen team and menu, and top spec sound and lighting desks - and we were in business, with four separate events areas!
In 2010 we expanded into the bar next door and created a further events space (with light-up dancefloor!) Since 2007 we have grown to be a highly popular bar, restaurant, live music, fringe venue and events space - with a warm service-heavy attitude to all aspects of our events.
We won six top flight awards in 2008 alone, they are detailed below along with some of our past and present bartender cocktail competition wins!
- Best New Bar Theme Bar & Restaurant Magazine Awards 2008
- Best Cocktail Bar
- Best Music Pub
- Best Spirits Bar Scottish Licensed Trade News Awards 2008
- Most Stylish Entertainment Venue Scottish Style Awards 2008
- Best New Bar Design Class Awards 2008
Since we opened and cleaned up on the bar and venue awards scene, our top team of talented mixologists have continued to rack up their own notable results in cocktail competitions including these in the last three years alone:2014
- Tim Pryde - Makers Mark Bartenders Trove Winner
- Tim Pryde - Martin Millers "We are the Tastemakers" - 2nd place
- Tim Pryde - Reyka Vodka Promotion Competition - Winner
- Tim Pryde - Ophir Gin Competition - 3rd place
- Rosie Paterson - Bacardi Tiki - 2nd place
- Rosie Paterson - Speedrack finalist
- Rosie Paterson - Diageo Scottish World Class 3rd place
- Rosie Paterson - Monkey Shoulder Scottish Final 2nd place
- Rosie Paterson - Speedrack UK Winner
- Rosie Paterson - Naked Grouse Wild Card 2nd place
- Rosie Paterson - Wild Turkey Scottish Final Winner
- Rosie Paterson - Mamont Vodka Challenge 2nd place
- Rosie Paterson & Fraser Ramsay - Portobello Road competition 2nd place
- Rosie Paterson - Bartender of the Year
- Rosie Paterson - Mamont Vodka Challenge Winner
- Iain McPherson - World Class UK finalist and Scottish Winner
- Iain McPherson - Bacardi Legacy Scottish Winner and UK finalist
- Toni Herbert - Gin Mare Scottish Heat Winner
- Gordon Purnell - Bacardi Legacy Scottish Winner and UK Top 3 Most Promising
The building of which The Voodoo Rooms is a component part was begun in 1861. The ground floor (now the Cafe Royal) was originally intended to be a gas appliance showroom. The four star block at the north side has been a hotel, which was extended prior to being subdivided at a later date.
The Ballroom, Speakeasy and French Quarter sections were later additions to the original block.