Owner still waiting for ‘right person’ to take over Dundee pub two years after closure

The Mercantile in Commercial Street

The owner of a city pub which has been closed for two years insists it is still waiting for the “right person” to take it over.

Star Pubs & Bars, a subsidiary of Heineken, shut The Mercantile, in Commercial Street, in August 2016 to carry out a makeover.

But the firm is still searching for a licensee — and the pub’s future remains uncertain.

The Tele previously revealed that Heineken was prepared to inject £300,000 into The Mercantile if a licensee came forward.

That would see the pub renamed A. Smith Merchant and transformed into a “modern industrial bar”.

Star Pubs & Bars put forward plans to reposition the ground floor bar at the back of the premises.

The upstairs would have circular booth seating overlooking the downstairs bar.

A spokeswoman for Star Pubs & Bars said inquiries had been made about The Mercantile.

She said: “We have had some interest in taking on this city centre pub but as yet we have not found the right person with the relevant experience and vision to take it on permanently.

“Any refurbishment plans for the pub, including timings, will be dependent on the new licensee and their approved business plan.”

The pub was previously run by Mike Mackay and his son Stewart but they stepped away from the business to allow refurbishment to take place.

Star Pubs & Bars is also investing in the Gunner’s Bar in Broughty Ferry and said the projects would create a total of 20 jobs.

David Glass, chairman of Dundee Licensed Trade Association, said: “The Mercantile is a lovely big building and it would be good if it could still be used as a pub.

“Obviously these days it’s tricky to get people in as licensees. But I don’t see any reason why it can’t flourish again with enough investment.”