CULT New York music venue Cake Shop could be heading to the Capital, the Evening News can reveal.
Talks are understood to be at an early stage with at least one venue after the rock club decided to quit Manhattan.
Co-owner Nick Bodor – whose wife hails from Scotland – said he was “super interested” in a move across the Atlantic, but there remained “lots of questions to answer”.
Cake Shop New York closed its doors for the final time on New Year’s Eve – a victim of booming rents amid Lower East Side gentrification.
“We’re not greedy capitalists,” Nick, 47, told the Evening News from the US. “We made enough money to live off but not enough to make improvements.
“Now we’re taking a look at Edinburgh – we’ll know what our overheads will be and that there’s customer demand there.
“Right now we’re figuring out how viable it is and how much it’s going to cost. We always talked about expanding and going over the river into Brooklyn but it never felt like the right move to me. I’d rather open in another city.”
Frontman of Edinburgh-based four-piece Ballboy, Gordon McIntyre, said such a move would be a coup for the Capital.
“I think in general terms, Edinburgh has for many, many years struggled to compete with the likes of Glasgow in putting on interesting things – not that people haven’t tried,” said Gordon, who played an acoustic solo set in the New York venue in 2009.
“Cake Shop was one of those places you’d just go and see what was on. I knew of it before I went to New York.”
Edinburgh’s music scene has suffered in recent times – most recently when the closure of Electric Circus was confirmed.
But Nick, whose wife Judy, 42, grew up in Inverness, believes there is enough emerging talent to sustain his venue. He said: “There’s a rock and roll scene in Scotland and Edinburgh with some great bands coming through.
“We love the city and are really interested – it makes sense for our branding to be part of that rock and roll scene.
“I know that I can create a really great environment for bands. It’s important to foster that. It’s really important for us to provide a place to inspire people to pick up instruments.”
Nick said Cake Shop Edinburgh could follow a similar model to Manhattan, with a café upstairs and venue downstairs. Talks are ongoing with venues and there was “a way to go”, he added.
A move to the Capital could see Nick up sticks with Judy and 12-year-old son Angus.
Brother and business partner Andy, 44, might also move across the Atlantic.
Evening News columnist Kevin Buckle is helping out with Cake Shop’s relocation plans. “Not only do they have fantastic contacts but they are very hands on,” he said.