Top Japanese restaurant bar under threat as pub'

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Public house, Tavern, Whisky

A Japanese restaurant in Edinburgh could be forced to close its bar, which the local council believes is "acting like a pub". Council officials are...

A Japanese restaurant in Edinburgh could be forced to close its bar, which the local council believes is "acting like a pub". Council officials are preparing the case against M's Seafood Restaurant and Whisky Bar in Grassmarket, alleging it is breaching planning conditions by having what they claim is a pub on the ground floor. The bar contains one ofEurope's biggest collections of malt whiskies ­ some retailing at £225 a shot. A spokesman for M's said: "We are taken aback that this restaurant is facing any criminal proceedings. "Part of our concept is thatdiners can enjoy a fine malt whisky in the downstairs area before eating or during casual dining. "It seems this is being used as evidence it is operating as a public house, but nothing could be further from the truth." A spokesman for the city council's planning department said the premises had been granted permission as a restaurant but claimed the owners were using it as a public house "contrary to its authorised use". The same location caused a similar row when it was the Three Quarters sports bar, owned by Scotland rugby stars Gregor Townsend, Derek Stark and Rowen Shepherd. Locals claimed the Three Quarters was operating as a pub despite having only a restaurant licence. Misako Udo took over the lease earlier this year and opened M's at a cost of around £1m.

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