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29 January 2020

A historic Dundee pub is to reopen after a four-year closure thanks to a £630,000 refurbishment by Heineken-owed Star Pubs & Bars and experienced hospitality operators Tommy and Jacqueline Fox.

The investment will transform The Mercantile on Commercial Street into a quality pub restaurant offering great food and evening entertainment. Works starts this week and the pub will open in early April, creating 25 new jobs*. The Mercantile will be renamed to mark its relaunch, with the new name set to be revealed in the coming weeks.

The outside of the Grade A-listed building – which dates back to 1871 – will be sympathetically renovated to make it an attractive feature of Commercial Street once again. The project will install full-height windows to bring light into the building. The inside will have a complete revamp and a contemporary look with exposed brickwork, wooden floors and stunning artwork, furniture and fittings. The plans also include a new kitchen, new toilets and an upstairs private function space to seat 80.

The venue will open at 11am. Freshly prepared food will be served all day, starting with brunch and using locally sourced produce from Angus farms and the city’s butchers and fishmongers. The menu will include a range of contemporary Scottish dishes, pub classics with a modern twist and an exciting variety of small plates.

To ensure the quality of the drinks is on a par with the food, the Foxs are overhauling the cellar with state-of-the-art dispense equipment to guarantee consistently excellent draft beer and cider. The drinks will span barista coffee, premium lagers and craft beers, as well as a superb selection of wines, spirits and cocktails.

The Foxs also want to make the pub the place for a great night out and are adding a new DJ booth and stage. A programme of live music, DJ nights and interactive entertainment will run once dinner service finishes at 9pm.

The Foxs searched for a pub they could run together for over a year before choosing The Mercantile. Says Tommy: “We absolutely love Dundee and the plans for the pub are so exciting and extensive, we knew straight away it was the one for us. It’s an iconic building in a prominent position, and we can’t wait to give it a new lease of life. We want to bring something a bit different to the city’s pub scene and provide a place that caters for everyone’s needs, whether they’re after a morning coffee, light lunch, celebratory meal or a fantastic night out.”

Comments Star Pubs & Bars’ operations director for Scotland, Brian Davidson: “We’re delighted to be contributing to Dundee’s regeneration. The scale of the work at the pub is huge: we’re going to town to create a venue that will appeal to all and really add to Dundee’s pub and restaurant scene. Tommy and Jacqueline are passionate about service, so people can be assured of a warm welcome and great hospitality.”

*The Foxs are recruiting a team to fill a range of positions including chefs, managers and front of house staff. Anyone interested in applying should email a CV to jobs@foxtaverns.com