The 90s eh? A time when girl power collided with Britpop, heavily branded sportswear ruled the fashion world and we would all watch Chris Evans’ TFI Friday before splashing on some Joop for a night on the town.
It may seem a little cringe looking back, but the 90s is still held in high-esteem for a reason. It was the decade when clubbing became mainstream thanks to an eclectic music scene which meant you could hear The Prodigy, the Spice Girls, Oasis or Carlos Santana in the same venue.
With numerous mentions from our readers, the popular Calton Studios (later becoming Studio 24) which was situated at Calton Roadranks high in our readers lists of top Edinburgh venues in the 90s. Calton Studios even hosted grunge legends Nirvana and reader Stuart Kerr said it was easily the best 90s venue in Edinburgh, commenting “anyone claiming otherwise was a part-timer.” Samantha M Fergie agreed saying it was one of many venues you could have “a braw night out.”
Carl Ann Scott admitted she would enjoy “cocktails in Henry J Beans on Rutland Street, or beers in Shakespeares (Lothian Road) first” before she would “always end up in Revolution” unless her pals were not getting in – then she would “slum it in Subway”.
Neil Seddon recalled Subway as a place he would often frequent. With two venues, one in the Cowgate and another in Lothian Road, he recalls it as somewhere you could end up enjoying a little too much, commenting it was “the scene of much appalling behaviour” and “one of many venues I need to make amends to.” Iain Boyle also mentioned the club, recalling their offer of “party pints on Friday after work.”
Dianne Buhagiar said Cinderellas, found in Stockbridge, was her go-to venue of choice, with Iain Boyle adding “every city had a Cinderellas because loads people would wake up the next morning missing a shoe and would then have to go back to work.”
Espionage, in Victoria Street, was another popular establishment that was shown a lot of love by our readers, though Susan Polland remembers it more for the exhausting trek to the toilets, Graham Pollard echoed this saying he remembers it as “a mission.”
“The Ark on Waterloo Placewas £1 a drink from 4pm til 7pm every Friday, so was hands down a winner straight from work” said Emma, who was a vocal fan of the venue.
Countless readers also mentioned Century 2000 (later Revolution) on Lothian Road, Eros and Elite in Fountainbridge and Mercado located in Market Street.
Fingers Piano Bar on Frederick Street got a mention from one reader, Janette Statham, who recalled loving it so much, it was almost like she “lived there”, as she added “I remember my mum phoning the bar to get in touch with me. Great days.”
Do you remember all these fantastic venues in Edinburgh? Have we missed out your favourite? Join the debate via our Facebook page.
Our readers favourite 90s clubs and bars:
– Calton Studios/Studio 24
A message from the Editor: Thank you for reading this article. We’re more reliant on your support than ever as the shift in consumer habits brought about by Coronavirus impacts our advertisers.
If you haven’t already, please consider supporting our trusted, fact-checked journalism by taking out a digital subscription.