The Alchemist to make Scottish debut at Edinburgh St James

The Alchemist. Photography by: Matt Eachus.

The Alchemist, the Simon Potts-led cocktail bar and restaurant concept, is to make its Scottish debut next year in a 5,700 sq ft site in Edinburgh St James, the £1bn mixed-use development in the city centre. The Alchemist will be situated on level four of Edinburgh St James, overlooking Register Square, which connects the development to Princes Street.

The Alchemist is occupying one of two flagship restaurant and bar units at the entrance to the main dining terrace at Edinburgh St James. The brand will deliver its signature ‘Theatre served’ cocktail and dining experience to the 200 cover venue. A range of other units on the dining terrace will include further restaurants and leisure operators to complement the Everyman Cinema on level five. The principal retail and leisure phase of the development will open in October 2020, followed by the cinema, a W Hotel, and residential elements phased through the following year.

Simon Potts, Managing Director of The Alchemist, commented: “Edinburgh is one of the world’s great cities and a destination we’ve long admired, but we wanted to wait for the right opportunity to present itself. Edinburgh St James fits the bill brilliantly. It is a vibrant and varied new destination that will appeal to tourists, office workers, residents and shoppers – the same audience that love our established venues in London and Manchester.”

Ed Corrigan, Assistant Leasing Director at Edinburgh St James, added: “The signing of The Alchemist brings further cachet to Edinburgh St James, joining the likes of Everyman Cinema in creating an amazing F&B and leisure line-up. We’re confident the brand will appeal to the significant local and tourism markets in the city, and we look forward to announcing more signings soon.”

The signing of The Alchemist follows research by CACI, the leading marketing technology and location planning specialist, that has revealed the Edinburgh International Festival and Edinburgh Fringe (both of which run in August every year) create a commercial opportunity for businesses in the city bigger than Christmas in terms of consumer spend due to the influx of tourists. F&B spend increases significantly during the festivals compared to the rest of the year, with tourists spending an average of 27% more than residents. As well as spending more, tourists are also more likely to consume food and drink, with a 36% conversion rate versus 27% for residents.

When complete, Edinburgh St James will span five floors of prime shopping, dining, leisure and entertainment, and is forecast to welcome in excess of 20 million visitors a year. Comprising 850,000 sq ft of retail space, Edinburgh St James will complement the luxury shopping offer of neighbouring luxury retailer Harvey Nichols, which anchors the premium shopping street of Multrees Walk. Strategically completing the city centre’s retail circuit, the development will also be home to 30 new restaurants, cafés and bars; Scotland’s first W Hotel – W Edinburgh – which includes 244 stylish guestrooms, a buzzing destination bar, outdoor terrace, signature restaurant, and an AWAY® Spa; luxury aparthotel brand Roomzzz, comprising 75-rooms; and 152 apartments by Native Land; in addition to delivering nine new public squares and 1,600 car parking spaces.

Culverwell and Bruce Gillingham Pollard are the leisure letting agents for Edinburgh St James. Harlow Property Consultants acted for The Alchemist.