Edinburgh, Fife & East Scotland

Edinburgh restaurant to help homeless opens at weekend

Home - Josh Littlejohn (left) and Dean Gassabi Image copyright Stewart Attwood
Image caption Home is backed by Josh Littlejohn, (left) of the Social Bite sandwich shops, and Dean Gassabi, who owns the Maison Bleue restaurants

An Edinburgh restaurant which will help the homeless and give its profits to charity is opening this weekend.

Home is backed by Josh Littlejohn, of the Social Bite sandwich shops, and Dean Gassabi, who owns the Maison Bleue restaurants.

It will provide training and employment programmes for members of the Social Bite Academy, a four-year paid course for homeless people.

The restaurant is on Queensferry Street in the capital's west end.

The not-for-profit venture opens to the public on Saturday, with a menu of French and Scottish cuisine.

Diners will be encouraged to "pay forward" meals for the homeless, who can attend a special service for those sleeping rough every Monday between 15:00 and 17:00.

Mr Gassabi said: "I had already secured these premises for a new Maison Bleue restaurant when Josh came to me with the proposal for Home and it was such a fantastic idea we agreed to go ahead immediately.

"This venture with Social Bite is a fantastic way for us to put something back, including helping the homeless community."

Image copyright Social Bite
Image caption George Clooney visited Social Bite in November 2015

Half of the profits will go directly to Social Bite and the other 50% will support other charities and good causes.

Mr Littlejohn said: "Home is a unique place and we're incredibly excited to be opening up the doors this weekend.

"It's a place where you can get a first-rate meal at the same time as helping some of the most vulnerable people in society.

"It's a natural evolution of what we've been doing at Social Bite and I hope people support it in the same way."

Social Bite - which has cafes in Edinburgh, Glasgow and Aberdeen - was in the spotlight last November when Hollywood star George Clooney visited the Edinburgh Rose Street branch to launch an appeal to help the homeless and fund an aid convoy to refugee camps across Europe.

In June, the Duchess of Cornwall visited the shop and staff are also expected to welcome Oscar-winner Leonardo DiCaprio later this year.

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