Covid Prevention Measures and Booking Procedures

Updated 3 Jun 2021

We appreciate this is a difficult time for everyone and sticking to ever-changing protocols and guidelines take a great deal of planning for hospitality venues. Be assured however, that everything we do at the Thistle Street Bar is designed to offer a first-class experience to our customers while keeping everyone safe. We won’t always get it right but everything we do is with the best intentions so please work with us to stick to our policies and we’ll all get through the pandemic together.

Bookings or Walk-Ins?

This is a conundrum. In pre-Covid times people could just turn up and either get a table or find some standing room at the bar. As we are restricted to table-service only and limited to only six tables indoors and two outdoors we have decided to offer a mix of bookings and walk-ins for the time being.

Booking a table

Now that we have reopened we will only accept table bookings by telephone. To book a table simply call us on 0131 225 1664 between 11am and 10pm from Tuesday to Sunday. Please note we are closed on Mondays and our phone isn’t manned on that day. 

  • When you phone us please tell us how many people the table is for along with your contact telephone number.  
  • If you’re running late on the day, please give us a quick courtesy call to let us know, otherwise we will only hold the table for 10 minutes before releasing it to a walk-in customer. If you are not going to make it at all it’s not a problem…just give us a quick courtesy call to let us know so we may offer your table to a walk-in customer.
  • In line with current Scottish Government protocol, we can currently only offer tables for a maximum of two hours.

Checking in using the Check In Scotland App

Everyone must check in to a hospitality venue. To avoid queueing at the door we kindly ask our customers to check in using the Scottish Government Check In Scotland app which is available free on iPhone and Android. As many of the venues in Edinburgh are using this app it’s best to preload it on your phone before you arrive to save you time. It’s also much quicker than using your phone camera to scan the QR code as your contact details will already be held by Check In Scotland. If you use your phone camera you will need to fill in your details each time you use it.    

Checking in Manually

If you don’t have access to the Check In Scotland App or phone camera we can take your details manually. The details we record are your name, contact telephone number long with your arrival and departure times. Rest assured your details will not be used for marketing purposes. At the end of each day all manually recorded details are held safely under lock and key and shredded after 21 days.   

Checking out

When using the Check In Scotland app to check in you simply need to press the check-out button on the app when you leave the bar. If you checked in manually, we will record the time you leave. 

Masks and face coverings

Tests have shown that masks and face coverings help to prevent the spread of Covid. As the safety of our customers and bar team is our number one priority, we respectfully ask our customers to wear a mask or face covering on entry and whenever you are not seated. If you forget to bring one don’t worry as we have disposable masks available.  For your safety, our bar team will wear face coverings on duty (which can be up to 12 hours a day), unless they are behind a bar screen.

Social distancing

Coronavirus spreads most rapidly when people are in close contact with a carrier. Hospitality venues have been given leeway to reduce the social distancing measure to 1 metre which is regarded as the minimum safe distance. As you could be in the bar for up to 2 hours, we ask you to respect the social distancing rule by staying 1 metre away from members in your group who are not in your immediate household.  We also have screens in place to separate tables from each other.

Hand Sanitisers

We have a wall-mounted hand sanitiser on entry and others throughout the bar.


As protocols change regularly, please keep an eye on this page for updates. Thanks for your support and we hope to see you after we reopen on Tue 1st Jun.

Robert Shepherd


Thistle Street Bar

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