Screeds of newsprint used to whizz from the printing press and out the basement doors of the Scotsman building but now a £2 million revamp has transformed the iconic Market Street building into a unique new venue opening at the end of July.
In the city’s largest club space, Castle Leisure Group (CLG), which has operated Sportsters and City nightclub in the building for the last 13 years, will launch fantastical new all day food, drink and entertainment venue Brewhemia.
It is the brainchild and a labour of love of general manager Danny Wylie.
“It has been great fun and enjoyable trading as it was but as with everything, customer needs evolve and it is prevalent on us as the operators to acknowledge that and ensure we’re still relevant.
“This is a huge 29,000 sq/ft space and we looked at what could be done to make it as exciting now as it was when it first opened – Brewhemia has been born.”
And in a nod to its original occupants, the bar in the main space will stand exactly where the Evening News used to be printed with artwork from local artist the Edinburgh Sketcher adding to the history.
“It’s very iconic,” Danny said. “The paper used to be printed right in the middle of where the Beer Palace now is.
“We’ve created Scotland’s first Beer Palace. It’s not a beer hall, it’s a palace and when customers see it, they’ll understand,” Danny added. “Think Great Gatsby in one hand, Moulin Rouge in the other, put your hands together and that is the bling and decadence at the heart of the space.”
Giant copper tanks will flank the elevated stage which will showcase live music, including choirs, acoustic shows, brass bands all driven by an in-house entertainment team.
“This place is about fun,” Danny said. “It’s about having a raucous, debaucherous party.”
And the creators have added touches throughout the five different venue spaces, including a “bubble button” on some tables, the press of which will bring a scurrying “brewhemian” with a bottle of prosecco.
And it isn’t just a venture for partygoers. The complete overhaul will see the introduction of a cafe serving food, the “Taproom” where customers can try tank fresh pilsner and food by award-winning head chef Christopher MacDiarmid from brunch to bedtime, and a prosecco and gin bar.
Tracey McRorie, commercial director of CLG said: “Brewhemia was born from our vision to create a completely new venue concept. A place where everyone can come together with a choice of environments across the venue that evolve throughout the day. We want to appeal to people of all ages and strive to accommodate every event, from a family lunch to a night of cocktails. The ethos of Brewhemia is ‘For the love of adventure’ and we have worked very hard to encapsulate this adventurous spirit through each and every aspect of the brand.”