Six prominent watering holes, including an Edinburgh golf bar that traces its roots back 560 years, have gone on the market with a combined price tag of more than £11.5 million.
Speratus Group, founded by the philanthropist son of oil tycoon Sir Ian Wood, is planning to sell the venues to fuel the expansion of his Boozy Cow burger chain, which is committed to donating all its annual profits to charity.
Boozy Cow has venues in Aberdeen and Edinburgh, and Garreth Wood said the chain is now looking to open three new restaurants a year on both sides of the Border. It has already secured a site in Stirling and is also planning a move into Dundee.
Wood said: “This is a very positive step for the Speratus Group and the Boozy Cow concept, which has proved to be hugely successful. We had originally planned to open two new Boozy Cows a year, but we have increased this to three under the new plans.
“Of course we’ll be sad to sell the other venues, some of which we have spent the last ten years developing; however, we are very excited to be building on the success of Boozy Cow. We have very clear goals and ambitions and feel extremely positive about the future.”
The sale of the six Speratus venues in Aberdeen and Edinburgh is being handled by Christie & Co, which is inviting offers in excess of £11.5m for the portfolio, but says it will consider approaches for individual sites.
99 Hanover Street, Edinburgh
This former bank branch is now a Manhattan-style cocktail venue in the centre of the capital, featuring DJs seven nights a week, and in 2014 David Beckham dropped by to film a whisky commercial. Christie & Co describes it as an “eclectic” bar with “inviting armchairs, flickering candles, decadent lighting, stone walls, drapes and dark wood”.
Auld Hundred, Edinburgh
Converted from a Mission Hall around 1800, this Rose Street pub – a favoured destination for locals and tourists alike – also has an outside seating area. The traditional bar is on the lower level, with a spiral staircase leads up to the restaurant.
Golf Tavern, Edinburgh
Founded in 1456 and previously known as the Golf Hotel, Ye Olde Golf Tavern was used as the Bruntsfield Links Society clubhouse from 1788 until the early 19th century. The detached stone-built property has student flats on either side and is described a “very much a sporting and party venue”.
Illicit Still, Aberdeen
Just off Union Street, this bar on Netherkirkgate – close to the city’s imposing granite Marischal College, the headquarters of Aberdeen City Council – was revamped in 2011. A popular student haunt, it boasts pool tables and a “dark Gothic bespoke seating den”.
Paramount Bar, Aberdeen
This Bon Accord Street watering hole is another favourite among Aberdeen’s 30,000-strong student population and can be set up to cater for small private groups or large corporate functions. It first opened its doors in 1994 and Christie & Co says it has established itself as one of the city’s “most highly acclaimed licensed venues”.
Nox Nightclub, Aberdeen
Spread over the ground and first floors of a converted church building on Justice Mill Lane, this club offers a table-booking service for those looking to party in style into the wee small hours. The ground floor capacity is 286, with six seating booths, while the first floor, which has nine booth areas, can cater for 210 revellers.