Sante? Bratessani emigrated from Parma in the 1870s, one of the first wave of Italian families to settle in the city. In 1889 he opened Edinburgh’s first ever fish and chip shop on Church Lane, Stockbridge.
When Sante enlisted with the Italian army during the First World War, the shop was kept going by his wife. He survived the war, and upon returning to Edinburgh opened a new outlet – the Deep Sea – on Union Place. Following the demolition of Union Place in 1970, the Deep Sea moved to Antigua Street where it remains to this day.
Eventually this shop was sold on to fellow fish and chip restaurateurs, the Crolla family.
Sante’s son, Joseph took over from his father. Known locally as “Mr Chips”, Joseph owned five restaurants at one time or another throughout the Capital.
Charles and Joe Brattisani followed in their grandfather’s and father’s footsteps.
Charles opened his first shop in 1961, lending the family name to what became a very popular fish and chip restaurant on Henderson Row. Meanwhile, Joe ran another busy chippy on Brougham Place, Tollcross.
The Haymarket and Newington branches, arguably the most famous of all the Brattisani-run emporiums, were opened in 1966 and 1970 respectively. Both of these chip shops survived for over three decades. The opening of Brattisani’s in Newington coincided neatly with the completion of the Royal Commonwealth Pool.
Over on the west side of the city, visits to Murrayfield and Tynecastle were often complemented with a post match supper at the branch on Morrison Street. The queues would stretch right round the corner beyond the Haymarket Bar.
Unfortunately, as the old cliché goes, all good things must come to an end. Both brothers were tiring of the long hours and late nights.
The busy Haymarket shop closed its doors for good in late 2002.