In 1855 the building was registered as a public inn or tavern and it was registered as the Railway Inn in 1863. It appears the name was changed to Railway Hotel in 1884 and the Valuation Rolls often make mention of stables, a coach house and gardens indicating a much larger footprint than in its present form. Throughout this period the building was owned by generations of the Black family though a variety of tenants managed the hotel.
Between 1883 - 1884 the hotel was renamed Jacksons Hotel after the tenant at that time. It wasn’t until 1930 that ownership of the building moved from the Black family. Eventually in 1962 it was sold to James Galbraith Forsyth and renamed, the Dolphin Hotel, at this point the stables and other properties were no longer part of the hotel curtilage.
From the 1960s package holidays became increasingly popular and as a result Scottish seaside holidays began to decline in popularity as people discovered warmer and more exotic European resorts. By the 1980s destinations such as Dunbar were no longer so popular. Tourism faded (and with it Dunbar’s famous outdoor pool was sadly demolished). For Dunbar however the building of the Torness Nuclear Power Plant between 1980 - 1988 meant that tourists were replaced by construction workers and the hotels in Dunbar, including The Dolphin, continued to be prosperous.
However, once Torness was completed and commissioned in 1988, it is understood that the upper floors of the Dolphin Inn were closed off although the bar on the ground floor remained active until 2013 and when it was closed the building was boarded up until it was bought for its current development project in 2019.