THE historic Dundee Royal Exchange building on Panmure Street, formerly home to Dundee Chamber of Commerce and the city’s Stock Exchange, has undergone a £500,000 transformation that will introduce a new leisure concept to the city centre with the opening of Caffe Borsa early next month.
The transformation of the building into a coffee house takes the former Royal Exchange back to its origins.
It was in 1835 that the ‘Cowgate’ – the name given to Dundee’s merchant and manufacturing class of the day – opened a coffee house and, as the original members were mainly engaged in the trade of flax which came almost entirely from the Baltic Sea, the association and the meeting place was called ‘The Baltic Coffee House’.
A year later this association became the Dundee Chamber of Commerce and, during the prosperous 1850s, the Royal Exchange was erected a short distance from the Baltic Coffee House.
Dating back to 1854 and designed by celebrated Victorian architect David Bryce, in a Flemish neo-Gothic style based on the cotton halls of Flanders, the building went on to house the Dundee Stock Exchange throughout the 1950s and 1960s.
New life has now been breathed into 1500 sq ft of the grade A listed building with its latest incarnation as a licensed coffee house introducing a broad range of emerging and established talent to the city as it doubles as a live acoustic performance venue in the evenings.
The new leisure concept is the brainchild of property entrepreneurs, John Gibson and Ross Morrison, who, having identified a gap in Dundee’s leisure sector, set about creating a new kind of outlet for people to meet, eat, drink and converse, for business or pleasure, with a live music offering in the evening.
Gibson said: “The idea behind Caffe Borsa is that it is a home from home; a genuine neighbourhood coffee house where the emphasis is on getting into a horizontal state of mind.
“And it’s great to get the opportunity to breathe a whole new lease of life into a building that has played such a central role in the evolution of Dundee for almost 160 years.
“An integral aspect of the building’s transformation has been significant investment in cutting edge digital technologies to enable us to offer customers free accessibility to wi-fi and full engagement with mobile devices and other digital platforms, thereby taking an historic location into the vanguard of the digital age.”
The outlet has already launched a website at www.caffeborsa.co.uk where future customers and staff can access the full low-down on the enterprising venture. And the first 200 people to sign up will receive VIP invites to its launch preview evenings. And everyone’s name goes into the Borsa hat at the end of every month to win a free hot beverage of choice every day for the following month.
For further information please contact Susan Christie at Liquorice Media tel 0141 561 4018
Issued on behalf of Caffe Borsa by Liquorice Media tel 0141 561 4018 www.liquorice-media.com
Date 18th October 2012