A craft brewery will open its biggest bar and restaurant in the basement of Dundee’s Caird Hall on Wednesday evening.
The Courier has been given an exclusive look inside St Andrews Brewing Company’s latest venture occupying two units in the former City Arcade, which closed in 1981.
And the owner of the Fife business – which is behind two venues in St Andrews and another two in Edinburgh – said the Caird Hall bar and restaurant is “without a doubt” one of their most ambitious projects.
Construction work on the venture began in October last year with the doors originally due to open on Wednesday at 6pm.
However on Wednesday afternoon, management announced the evening opening was no longer possible and delayed it.
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Thirty-five jobs have already been created at the site.
St Andrews Brewing Company’s director of business development Tim Butler said: “This is our fifth venue and it is obviously the biggest venue that we have – 7,500sqft, and it has given us the opportunity to introduce new elements to our venues.
“Here we have the space to have a proper, full-on restaurant.
“The site was a brand-new site basically. The council had stripped everything back, they’d put up dividing walls between the four different units – of which we’ve got two – and concrete floors.
“UK-wide there are eyes on Dundee. There is a huge amount of investment going into this waterfront project.
“We can see the number of day visitors that are coming on the basis of the V&A alone.
“When Slessor Gardens used to be a big dock this was one of the focus points of town. It was nice to be a part of that project to try and bring a bit more of the focus back down to this area, what with the waterfront project going on as well.”
The restaurant side of the Caird Hall business has seating for 160 people and boasts a wine cellar and even a conference room.
The pub section has 20 beers on tap – a selection of St Andrews Brewing Company’s own products and a mix of Dundonian and Scottish tipples.
The site also boasts a “Scotch Corner” for whisky lovers and an “indoor beer garden”.
The Caird Hall business has also been added to the list of venues for the hugely popular Dundee Dance Event (DDE), which takes place on Sunday, May 5.
Furniture will be shifted around inside to make way for DJ sets in collaboration with the Rhumba Club.
Mr Butler said the DDE would “showcase to people in Dundee” what the new venue will offer the city.
He added: “What we’ve created here is a very flexible, multi-use venue.”
St Andrews Brewing Company, Caird Hall will neighbour the restaurant Brasserie Ecosse, which opened earlier this year.
The premises are not linked in any way.
The ground floor of the Caird Hall was known as the City Arcade from the 1930s.
In the 1960s, a diverse range of retailers occupied the site from fishmongers to florists and booksellers.
It was also home to the beloved Champion the Wonderhorse.
The City Arcade closed in 1981 after years of decline.