Commercial property: Alchemist in the mix at St James

The Alchemist cocktail bar and restaurant chain is to make its Scottish debut next year in a 5,700sq ft site in Edinburgh St James, the £1 billion mixed-use development in the city centre.

The 200-cover venue will be situated on level four overlooking 
Register Square, which connects the development to Princes Street and will occupy one of two flagship restaurant and bar units at the entrance to the main dining terrace at Edinburgh St James. A range of units on the dining terrace will house further restaurants and leisure operators to complement the Everyman Cinema on level five.

The principal retail and leisure phase of the development is due to open in October 2020, followed by the cinema, a hotel and residential elements phased through the following year.

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Simon Potts, managing director of The Alchemist, commented: “Edinburgh is one of the world’s great cities and a destination we’ve long admired, but we wanted to wait for the right opportunity to present itself.

“Edinburgh St James fits the bill brilliantly. It is a vibrant and varied new destination that will appeal to tourists, office workers, residents and shoppers – the same audience that love our established venues in London and Manchester.”

Ed Corrigan, assistant leasing director at Edinburgh St James, added: “The signing of The Alchemist brings further cachet to Edinburgh St James, joining the likes of Everyman Cinema in creating an amazing F & B [food and beverage] and leisure line-up.

“We’re confident the brand will appeal to the significant local and tourism markets in the city, and we look forward to announcing more signings soon.”

The sign-up by The Alchemist follows research by the marketing, technology and location 
planning specialist, CACI, that revealed the Edinburgh International Festival and the Edinburgh Fringe create a commercial opportunity for businesses in the city that is bigger than Christmas in terms of 
consumer spend, due to the influx of tourists. F&B spend increases significantly during the festivals 
compared to the rest of the year, with tourists spending an average of 27 per cent more than residents.

When complete, Edinburgh
St James will span five floors of 
shopping, dining, leisure and 
entertainment, and is forecast to welcome in excess of 20 million 
visitors a year.

Comprising 850,000sq ft of retail space, the centre is designed to complement the luxury shopping offer of nearby Multrees Walk.

Completing the city centre’s retail circuit, the development will also be home to 30 new restaurants, cafés and bars, and Scotland’s first W Hotel – W Edinburgh – which includes 244 rooms, a destination bar, outdoor terrace, signature restaurant and a spa.

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In addition there will be aparthotel brand Roomzzz comprising
75 rooms, 152 apartments by Native Land, nine new public squares and 1,600 car parking spaces.

Culverwell and Bruce Gillingham Pollard are the leisure letting agents for Edinburgh St James. Harlow Property Consultants acted for The Alchemist.