MAJOR steakhouse restaurant Hawksmoor has revealed plans to open its first eatery and bar in a mothballed building in central Edinburgh that was once an office for the Royal Bank of Scotland.

The 170-cover restaurant will open in the former Royal Bank of Scotland Hall, a Grade-A-listed building in St. Andrew Square, this summer.

One of Scotland's leading chefs Andrew Fairlie issued a warning about the restaurant's arrival.

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"It's about to get tougher for independent restaurants in Edinburgh in an already tough market," he wrote on Twitter.

The original establishment was opened in Spitalfields, near to where the architect Nicholas Hawksmoor built Christ Church. Subsequently, there are four other restaurants in London: in Seven Dials, Air Street nearby Piccadilly Circus, Knightsbridge and Guildhall district of the City. Most recently they have opened their first restaurant outside London: Hawksmoor Manchester on Deansgate (near Spinningfields).

A branch is also due to open in Westfield World Trade Center in lower Manhatten, New York, in the near future.

Speaking about the Edinburgh branch, Co-founder Will Beckett, said: “We’re really excited about opening Hawksmoor in Edinburgh, not just because we’ll get to spend more time in such an amazing city, but because we’re going to be able to indulge in two things we love – produce and working with beautiful old buildings.

“It’s no secret that Scotland has some of the world’s best ingredients, and we have an opportunity to bring life back to a building of national importance that’s been closed off to the public for the past ten years.”

The restaurant will be based within the 1942 building designed by architects Leslie Grahame Thomson and Arthur Davis which has lain empty for a number of years and is on the at-risk register.

There is a bridge link across to West Register Street and three interconnected buildings. Together these were once the headquarters of the Royal Bank of Scotland but have been vacant since 2006.

The intention of the Chris Stewart Group is to refurbish 42 St Andrew Square for either hotel, residential or serviced apartment with retail, restaurants and bars at street level.

They also hope to restore the art deco banking hall and create an entrance point from West Register Street.