Dundee Royal Exchange refurbishment completes
October 19 2012
It was in 1835 that the ‘Cowgate’ – the name given to Dundee’s merchant and manufacturing class of the day – opened a coffee house and, as the original members were mainly engaged in the trade of flax which came almost entirely from the Baltic Sea, the association and the meeting place was called ‘The Baltic Coffee House’.
A year later this association became the Dundee Chamber of Commerce and, during the prosperous 1850s, the Royal Exchange was erected a short distance from the Baltic Coffee House.
Dating back to 1854 and designed by celebrated Victorian architect David Bryce, in a Flemish neo-Gothic style based on the cotton halls of Flanders, the building went on to house the Dundee Stock Exchange throughout the 1950s and 1960s.
New life has now been breathed into 1500 sq ft of the grade A listed building with its latest incarnation as a licensed coffee house introducing a broad range of emerging and established talent to the city as it doubles as a live acoustic performance venue in the evenings.
The new leisure concept is the brainchild of property entrepreneurs John Gibson and Ross Morrison who, having identified a gap in Dundee’s leisure sector, set about creating a new kind of outlet for people to meet, eat, drink and converse, for business or pleasure, with a live music offering in the evening.
Gibson said: “The idea behind Caffe Borsa is that it is a home from home; a genuine neighbourhood coffee house where the emphasis is on getting into a horizontal state of mind.
“And it’s great to get the opportunity to breathe a whole new lease of life into a building that has played such a central role in the evolution of Dundee for almost 160 years."
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