Baron Suite caberet venue returns with The Drifters tribute

Sisters May Arcari and Carol Murray at the Baron Suite at the Corn Exchange. Picture: Jane Barlow
Sisters May Arcari and Carol Murray at the Baron Suite at the Corn Exchange. Picture: Jane Barlow
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IN its heyday it was a popular dance hall and cabaret venue that welcomed top performers such as Tony Christie and Neil Diamond.

Hundreds of young revellers enjoyed their first dates there, dancing the night away in the Swinging Sixties through to the Super Seventies.

And now the famous Baron Suite inside the Corn Exchange is making a comeback to rival that of the Bay City Rollers, who last year announced their reunion world tour following sold-out gigs in Edinburgh and Glasgow.

In its golden age, the 160-capacity venue would be packed with revellers every weekend and now, more than 30 years later, managing director Paul De Marco hopes to revive its fortunes as the city’s premier cabaret and live music venue.

The revival will kick off tonight with two sold-out shows from the Magic Drifters, who have been touted as one of the best tributes to the world-famous group The Drifters.

He said: “It is a stunning venue that we have restored, including the original wooden flooring.

“We will host a series of cabaret and live music events and reinstate the Baron Suite as the number-one cabaret room in Edinburgh.

“We are inviting everyone – old and young – back to the Baron.”

The Baron Suite was refurbished in 2003 and has since been operating as a wedding, function and conference venue at the Corn Exchange.

The room holds many fond memories for generations of people from across the city, including Portobello resident May Arcari.

She said: “I had loads of great nights out at the Baron Suite many years ago because that was where the best 
cabaret shows were.

“I remember seeing Neil Diamond, Tony Christie and many more well-known stars in the heyday of the venue.”

Mr De Marco added: “To this day my dad never stops going on about the time he saw Tony Christie rocking the place in 1971, a memory we think has lived on with many of the old regulars.

“May’s parents had one of their first dates at the Baron Suite and my uncle used to perform there in the 60s. These are just some of the reasons we are relaunching.

“We understand the memories it holds for many and the memories it can behind to create again.

The venue will take revellers through the eras over the coming months, welcoming the best UK tribute bands to the 50s, 60s, 70s and 80s. The original venue was opened in the mid-1960s and served as a dance hall and cabaret venue for more than a decade.