After triumphantly ending five years in the dark in late 2023, the historic Edinburgh Castle has closed again in the hands of receivers.

Ending much anticipation in the southern suburbs of Adelaide, the Castle reopened in December under new operators Jatin Malhotra and Rohit Kapur.

Around half-a-million was spent sprucing up the fit-out in preparation, bringing new bars, a live entertainment area, dedicated function space and large, refreshed beer garden.

Established 1837, the heritage-listed Edinburgh Castle holds claim to being the city’s oldest trading licence.

In late 2018, owner Tony Bond handed back the lease, citing disruption from a major nearby construction project, which was creating an accommodation complex for more than 700 students.

The pub remained closed for over five years, even as the freehold was sold in 2021 for $2.5 million, before Malhotra and Kapur’s Trident House P/L finally threw open the doors again in December.

But after just two months, it has closed again, with liquidator Robert Naudi appointed and seven employees out of a job.

At a creditors’ meeting it was noted that Trident House was “unable to pay its debts”.

The operators advised the receiver that foot traffic to the pub was “significantly less” than they had projected, even with the student accommodation now complete. This greatly affected their ability to generate the revenue required to cover their liabilities.

The two-storey brick pub is found on the corner of Currie and Gray Street, in Adelaide’s creative West End precinct, near the University of South Australia, TAFE and the College of Arts.

Sources report the operators had racked up $300k in debt, struggling to meet the demands of rent and the rising cost of business.

According to Naudi, the directors said the “final nail” in the coffin that was their decision to liquidate, was the February increase in the alcohol excise tax.

This month the ratcheting tax rose again, such that the burden on a pint of beer is now 90 cents, and Australia now has the third-highest alcohol tax in the world.

Reportedly the business has no debt with the ATO, and almost all employee superannuation commitments have been paid.

It’s anticipated there will be an auction of assets at the venue in coming weeks.

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