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Dundee brewery expands portfolio with six figure investment

Chris Symonds at The Maker Launch on Nov 23

THE TEAM behind one of Scotland’s most successful independent breweries has extended its investment portfolio by opening a restaurant and bar in Dundee.

The Maker in Perth Road is the first venture into the food and drink service market by 71 Brewing. The move is part of the company’s strategy to bring together creative communities and to boost the cultural offering in Dundee.

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The brewery has already announced the redevelopment of the upper floors of its premises at Bellfield Street in the city to create an arts and events venue with a capacity of up to 350, as well as gallery space.

The Maker is designed to fill a perceived gap in the market for high quality food in a relaxed and welcoming venue with bar space. A permanent jazz and blues club is also planned for the basement on the site.

71 Brewing Managing Director, Duncan Alexander, said: “Dundee has come a long way in recent years but we think there is still a need for what we are offering. 

“We want to be an integral part of the story of this city’s regeneration. Obviously, we want to keep building a successful business, but we also want to be part of Dundee’s journey.

“If we spot a gap in the market for a service or investment which would be good for the business and good for the city then we will go for it if we can.”

The Maker is part of an ongoing mini regeneration of the Perth Road area which was once the destination of choice for locals and students going or a night on the town. In recent months, several pubs and restaurants have opened in the area or have been refurbished.

Duncan said: “We are not looking to take customers away from other venues in the Perth Road. What we really want to do is to give people another reason to come into town for a night out. Everyone will benefit from that.

“This is a tremendous opportunity to create a new destination in the city for people who want high quality food and drink in a relaxed atmosphere.

“The menu will be pitched above pub grub but it’s not fine dining. We want people to feel comfortable either eating or just having a drink and knowing that they are going to get innovative food and a consistent quality.”

Duncan founded 71 Brewing in 2016 when he realised that the city had had no working brewery for more than 50 years. After a career in IT away from Dundee, Duncan decided to invest to fill the gap and that has been his strategy for the company ever since.

Once The Maker is up and running as a restaurant and bar, the basement area will be developed into a permanent music lounge venue, showcasing local jazz and blues musicians. The aim will be to give a city centre venue for regular acts as well as a hireable space.

The 71 Brewing site in Dundee is a former ironworks in an area once known as “Hell’s Half Acre”. 

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