Former Union Street department store restaurant refurb starts
The Esslemont CGI

Former Union Street department store restaurant refurb starts

The transformation of one of the city’s most iconic buildings, part of the former Esslemont and Macintosh (E&Ms) department store, has commenced as independent hospitality operators, The McGinty’s Group officially takeover.

The site was formerly Jamie’s Italian before the company shuttered the outlet.

The McGinty’s Group, which now operates eight pubs, restaurants and hotels in Aberdeen, has started their significant refurbishment project which will see them occupy and transform the ground and first floors of no.38 Union Street.

The new food and drink establishment will comprise of two concepts with a stylish bar & 120 seater restaurant on the ground floor with private dining facilities which will be named, The Esslemont and an authentic Neapolitan pizzeria is planned for the first floor called Mac’s Pizzeria in a nod to the venue’s history.

The renovations of The Esslemont & Mac’s Pizzeria are expected to be completed by late Summer, with award-winning Nicoll Russell Studios appointed as architects to oversee the refurbishment and design elements and local building contractors, Steven Reid Joinery on board to undertake works. Inverurie-based branding & design company, CP & Co will provide branding support.

The group is currently recruiting for senior positions and expects to create around 70 jobs for the city which will increase the group’s overall workforce to 230 employees. 

Allan Henderson, Director of The McGinty’s Group, said: “It is fantastic to officially start the refurbishment programme of this landmark building. Over the past couple of months we have been working closely with our architects on research and design with trips all over the UK to create our vision for the venue so it is great to get the project underway.

“We have been truly delighted with the response and support from the public since the news came out which highlighted the local love for this building, and we are very proud to be playing our part in helping to regenerate this iconic site.”

Alan Aitken, Operation Director of The McGinty’s Group, continued: “This project is set to be our biggest to date with two floors to overhaul and transform but it is very exciting for us all. Importantly, we will be using local contractors wherever possible to help us bring this amazing building back to life.

“As always, quality is at the heart of our venues, from our interiors and furniture to our food and drink and The Esslemont is no different. Of course, we want to acknowledge the historic charm of this venue whilst adding our quirky yet stylish touches to create something new for Aberdeen.”

“We have a passion for Aberdeen and whilst we are excited to launch a new venue, we are also delighted to be able to create new jobs for the city. We expect to require about 70 employees for the full venue including senior management positions which will provide excellent opportunities for individuals seeking to develop their career or perhaps start a new one in the trade and we are pleased to be able to provide this.”

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