Situated a short stumble from the foot of the Mound, on the corner of Rose Street and Hanover Street, Milne's gained a reputation in the Fifties and Sixties as a "poet's bar", with clientele such as poets Hugh MacDiarmid, Sorley MacLean, and Norman MacCaig. It was considered such a place of political foment and poetic fervour that the basement snug was then dubbed "Little Kremlin".
Scots contemporary artist John Bellany was also a Milnes regular while at art college in the early 1980s along with his artist friends, Alexander Moffat and Alan Bold. The National Galleries of Scotland has one of Bellany's etchings capturing the Milne's of those days, while Alexander Moffat's Poet's Pub, an imaginary gathering of famous Scottish poets, draws on Milne's as well as other local howffs.
In 2009, pub chain Punch Pubs decided to spruce the bar up. The 15 literary portraits, with poems under them, that hung on the walls were auctioned off for charity, much to the chagrin of some of Milne's regulars.
"Milne's of Rose Street" has two entrances - on Hanover Street and on Rose Street - with bars in the basement and above. While the pub - now owned by Belhaven Pubs - makes less of its literary heritage, it still maintains an old, traditional atmosphere downstairs with its dark, wooden beams, hardwood floor, low ceiling and semi-circular bar. Upstairs it has something of an open, living-room feel.
The pub has seating for over 150 people. Pub grub is available, such as fish 'n' chips, haggis pie, and steak and ale pie.