Highlands and Western Isles CAMRA

Campaign for Real Ale


93-95 Academy Street
Emailmoc.ssenrevnisrairfkcalb@seiriuqne Telephone(01463) 215164
Real AleFamily FriendlyAccommodationLunchtime MealsEvening MealsDisabled AccessDog FriendlyNewspapersWiFiLive Music
Opening times: 7.30-1am

See more about this pub on WhatPub, CAMRA's national pub guide.

After a £1.36 million investment, what was a very “tired” Blackfriars has been transformed and proudly reopened on Friday 8th November 2019 after a closure of just over 2 years.

The building itself is "Category B" listed and dates back to 1793, and has had a varied life, including that of a "Temperance Hotel" - the info board outside gives a potted history.

With a carefully balanced remit of both restoring and improving, other than a new roof, the outside walls and the walls of the bar area have been stripped back to the old stonework and the bar area has been enlarged by removing some walls and the customer area now provides a mix of booth and the table seating – Look out for the re-purposed cinema seats!

Two handpumps offer real ales from Scotland off the Heineken / Star list, typically Fyne Ales, Jarl and Caledonian Deuchars

Breakfasts are available from 07:30 for guests, and 08:30 for "walk-ins", although a full bar service does not start until 11:00.

The simple menu features Scottish fare, and in the future it is hoped to source some of the herb and salad ingredients from a small garden area on the rooftop, along with honey from the bee hives.

Accommodation is provided by the nine cosy en suite (shower) letting rooms, one being a family suite and another with a scroll top bath.

Handy for the bus or train station (5 mins walk) but no parking, albeit out of hours only, but on street or nearby Rose Street car park (pay).

As a footnote, Star Pubs initially re-branded the pub as "Mortar & Pestle", and more recently as "The Optimist" to signal its new direction, but it was decided to keep the old name on, and this is the only aspect of its past that remains.

Expect a very warm welcome from Billy the manager and his staff.

Phone / tablet out of juice? Plug your device into one of the many USB / power sockets located just behind the seating.

Note, image of the "old" yellow frontage has been left as a contrast & compare.