Mercat Bar boss to sell-up after tram disruption

The Mercat won an Evening News Best of... award back in 2010. Picture: Ian Rutherford
The Mercat won an Evening News Best of... award back in 2010. Picture: Ian Rutherford
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A BUSINESSMAN is calling time on his city pub following a “catastrophic downturn” in fortunes he blames on tram works.

Publican Graham Blaikie, 39, has announced he will sell the Mercat Bar in West Maitland Street following years of disruption and road closures in the West End.

He claims he lost more than a million pounds in turnover since 2008.

“I am gutted,” he said. “Not for me but for the staff who have worked so hard to make the Mercat Bar a success; for the customers who have helped us; but mostly for my family who have been behind me every step of the way.”

A council spokeswoman said the city had supported traders by introducing a reduction in business rates while the tram project had “made sums of money available to all businesses fronting the tram route” through the Small Business Support Scheme. “Throughout construction, footpaths in West Maitland Street remained open,” she said.