Calendar An icon of a desk calendar. Cancel An icon of a circle with a diagonal line across. Caret An icon of a block arrow pointing to the right. Email An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of the Facebook "f" mark. Google An icon of the Google "G" mark. Linked In An icon of the Linked In "in" mark. Logout An icon representing logout. Profile An icon that resembles human head and shoulders. Telephone An icon of a traditional telephone receiver. Tick An icon of a tick mark. Is Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes. Is Not Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes with a diagonal line through it. Pause Icon A two-lined pause icon for stopping interactions. Quote Mark A opening quote mark. Quote Mark A closing quote mark. Arrow An icon of an arrow. Folder An icon of a paper folder. Breaking An icon of an exclamation mark on a circular background. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Caret An icon of a caret arrow. Clock An icon of a clock face. Close An icon of the an X shape. Close Icon An icon used to represent where to interact to collapse or dismiss a component Comment An icon of a speech bubble. Comments An icon of a speech bubble, denoting user comments. Ellipsis An icon of 3 horizontal dots. Envelope An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of a facebook f logo. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Home An icon of a house. Instagram An icon of the Instagram logo. LinkedIn An icon of the LinkedIn logo. Magnifying Glass An icon of a magnifying glass. Search Icon A magnifying glass icon that is used to represent the function of searching. Menu An icon of 3 horizontal lines. Hamburger Menu Icon An icon used to represent a collapsed menu. Next An icon of an arrow pointing to the right. Notice An explanation mark centred inside a circle. Previous An icon of an arrow pointing to the left. Rating An icon of a star. Tag An icon of a tag. Twitter An icon of the Twitter logo. Video Camera An icon of a video camera shape. Speech Bubble Icon A icon displaying a speech bubble WhatsApp An icon of the WhatsApp logo. Information An icon of an information logo. Plus A mathematical 'plus' symbol. Duration An icon indicating Time. Success Tick An icon of a green tick. Success Tick Timeout An icon of a greyed out success tick. Loading Spinner An icon of a loading spinner.

Temporary beer tents could remain as Aberdeen cafe culture plans take off

A customer enjoys a pint in the The Grill's tent in Union Street.
A customer enjoys a pint in the The Grill's tent in Union Street.

The tents and marquees which popped up all over Aberdeen, helping to keep the hospitality trade in business through the pandemic, could remain in place until March 2022.

Pubs, restaurants and cafes across the Granite City have taken advantage of the increased flexibility in licensing and planning rules to offer customers

And continuation of the policy, encouraged by the Scottish Government, could well play a lead role in Aberdeen’s future: the oft-mentioned – and sometimes divisive – promotion of cafe culture in our streets.

The city council is currently dreaming up new ways of using the streets to encourage trade, footfall and and atmosphere in the centre.

And Wednesday’s city growth committee meeting will be a key step in the process – with major decisions on the future regeneration of Aberdeen to be made.

Along with potentially moving detailed planning of a permanent pedestrianisation of Union Street to the top of the to-do list for council’s design team, choices could be made on an overhaul of the beachfront.

Options for the area, now part of a £150 million refresh of the city centre masterplan, could include a new football stadium, updated sports facilities, and a revamp of the Beach Ballroom.

On top of all that, councillors are being asked to maintain the road changes brought in last year to enable physical distancing, safer walking and cycling, and easier outside trading for the foreseeable future.

Bon Accord Street could remain closed until the end of March to allow outdoor trading for nearby hospitality premises.
Bon Accord Street could remain closed until the end of March to allow outdoor trading for nearby hospitality premises.

With that in mind, roads chiefs are pressing for the continued closure of Bon Accord Street at its junction with Union Street.

Resources director Steve Whyte is recommending members maintain the flexibility on occasional licences – which has allowed the likes of the Grill’s beer tent in Union Street – until March 31.

Dependent on councillors backing plans for Union Street, he has suggested the local authority only reopens Bon Accord Street after the current flexibility ends.

This, he said would be reliant on timelines for long-awaited road improvements in South College Street, which would require earlier opening for the key route from the city centre to the south.

And, as hospitality venues have spilled out into streets, parks, car parks and green spaces during the pandemic, top officials are asking for approval to look at making it easier for firms to take up the space permanently.

This plays into another long-term aspiration of the Town House bosses – who are looking to bring European cafe culture to the city.

Cafe culture has come to the fore during the pandemic - and councillors could sign off on making it a permanent aspiration next week.
Cafe culture has come to the fore during the pandemic – and councillors could sign off on making it a permanent aspiration next week.

As roads are redesigned around the centre and West End of Aberdeen, public space could be dedicated to the notion – one that proved hard to get off the ground before the necessity of the pandemic.

However, key sites – such as proposed outdoor seating outside the art gallery, and in Belmont Street and Back Wynd – are being eyed as the perfect spaces to try again.

Having sampled sipping coffee in a marquee as the rain poured or having a pint in a tent while the air outside is so cold they could see their breath, Aberdonians seem to have warmed to the cafe culture ideology.

A recent poll of the public, put out by the council to better understand where they should first focus regeneration projects in the city centre, placed the use of the so-called ‘Belmont Zone’ for outdoor hospitality as of utmost importance.

The sun doesn't always shine in the north-east, but hospitality bosses don't think that should stop the council from encourage a European cafe culture in Aberdeen city centre.
The sun doesn’t always shine in the north-east, but hospitality bosses don’t think that should stop the council from encourage a European cafe culture in Aberdeen city centre.

Mr Whyte added: “The priorities raised by the public through the (consultation) focussed on Union Street as the heart of the city and building maintenance, Belmont Street cafe culture and the beach as a location for a stadium.

“In conjunction with the expressed wish to make cafe culture permanent, officers should investigate the possibility of council-owned land allowing permanent outdoor areas to promote cafe culture.

“As a potential early intervention in this regard, consider installing outdoor seating outside Aberdeen Art Gallery as a first phase delivery of that cafe culture.”

Already a subscriber? Sign in

[[title]]

[[text]]