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Books and Beans owner to open new site in Union Terrace Gardens in August

Councilor's Yuill and McLellan standing at Rosemount Pavilion space at Union Terrace Gardens with John Wigglesworth. Supplied by Aberdeen City Council.
Councilor's Yuill and McLellan standing at Rosemount Pavilion space at Union Terrace Gardens with John Wigglesworth. Supplied by Aberdeen City Council.

The owner of the popular Aberdeen eatery Books and Beans has been revealed as the operator of the Rosemount Pavilion space at Union Terrace Gardens.

John Wigglesworth is the director of the company Celera Support Services, who are launching the new coffee house as part of the plan to promote daytime cafe culture in the city centre.

The new coffee house and bar will be called Common Sense and is inspired by the 18th Century Scottish School of Common Sense. The school was founded by Aberdeen-born enlightenment philosopher Thomas Reid.

John Wigglesworth, owner of Books and Beans. Picture by Scott Baxter

It is situated on the corner of Union Terrace and Rosemount Viaduct near His Majesty’s Theatre and is due to open in August.

Mr Wigglesworth said: “We are delighted to have the opportunity to realise our vision within the Rosemount Pavilion, demonstrating our ongoing commitment to the revitalisation of Aberdeen city centre.

‘It’s just Common Sense’

“We are playing our part in delivering this in a number of ways, not least with the much-anticipated launch of Common Sense Coffee House and Bar.

“With plenty of books, music, performance, and chat – it’s good for the community, it’s good for us all, it’s just Common Sense.”

Mr Wigglesworth is also one of the founders and chair of the Bonnymuir Green Community Trust, which became the north-east’s first community-led Urban Right to Buy project in 2018.

It is now a thriving and popular community-owned garden, arts space and cafe.

Books and Beans will continue to trade on Belmont Street after the Union Terrace Gardens opening.

The Rosemount Pavilion is one of three similar buildings looking over Union Terrace Gardens, which is due to reopen in the summer after a £28 million refurbishment.

Drone footage of Union Terrace Gardens taken in late April. Photo: DCT Media

The decision to cancel the ‘soft reopening’ of the Union Terrace Gardens site was controversially made last month.

Planned improvements include a new play area for children and ensuring the gardens are more wheelchair-friendly. The old historic arches and Victorian toilets are to be restored and refurbished.

Aberdeen City Council’s city growth and resources convener Alex McLellan said: “It is great that a local, independent operator is to open at one of the new pavilions at Union Terrace Gardens and it will be a fantastic addition to our city centre.”

Council co-leader Ian Yuill said: “I’m sure the new coffee house and bar will be a real boost to the Union Terrace Gardens area.”

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