Celebrated Dundee record store Groucho's set to be sold off

Record store Groucho's has been a fixture in Dundee city centre for more than 40 years.
Record store Groucho's has been a fixture in Dundee city centre for more than 40 years.
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It has been hailed as one of the coolest record shops in Britain for more than 40 years - counting members of The Smiths, Fleetwood Mac, The Damned and Deacon Blue among its customers.

But now the future of Groucho’s in Dundee has been thrown into doubt after it emerged the store’s owner has decided to retire and the site has been put up for sale by its landlord.

Groucho’s has been a magnet for generations of music fans since 1976 and has also sold tickets for gigs and festivals across Scotland.

The site, which has a price tag of £250,000, is being marketed as a “retail investment opportunity” by agents handling the sale.

They point out that Groucho’s only has a lease on the ground-floor site, on the south side of the Nethergate, until August 2019.

Alistair “Breeks” Brodie, who set up Groucho’s with a friend at its original home on the Perth Road, has cited a number of health problems for his reason to step down, adding that he did not have the energy to find a new home for the store in the city.

He admitted the site, which has previously been a restaurant, a dairy, a cycle shop and laterally a hairdressers supplier, would probably become a cafe or restaurant in future.

However he said the name of Groucho’s could continue elsewhere if he is made a good offer for the business.

The selling agents for the Groucho’s building say they are expecting “keen interest” due to its close proximity to the city’s “cultural quarter” and the new waterfront area, which is home to Dundee’s V&A museum, which will open on 15 September.

Mr Brodie said: “I’ve had a 20-year lease for the current site, which I’m 19 years into. I turn 65 in October and illness has got the better of me over the last few years.

“I’m not on my last legs but I’d like to enjoy a bit of life before I drop off my perch. I see friends enjoying their retirement and wouldn’t mind getting a bit of that.

“I feel I don’t have the physical and mental energy to find another site for the shop.”

“I’ve loved every minute of it at Groucho’s and would love for it to carry on in some form, but it would need some to come in and buy me out.”

The unit housing Groucho’s is adjacent to a site ring-fenced for a controversial multiplex cinema development.

Critics fear it will threaten the future of Dundee Contemporary Arts centre if it goes ahead.

Shepherd Chartered Surveyors described the site as an “established mixed use commercial location adjacent to the retail core to the east, Dundee University and the cultural quarter to the west and the central waterfront development area to the south.”

Ronald Dalley, surveyor at Shepherd’s Dundee office, said: “This is an excellent opportunity for an investor to procure a well-known retail unit within Dundee city centre at an exciting time, as the city approaches a new era, benefiting from an influx of visitors following the opening of the V&A.

“Given its high-profile location facing the inner ring road and adjacent to the waterfront development area, we anticipate keen interest in this investment opportunity.”