Whisky centre and roof bar to replace House of Fraser

Councillors have approved plans to transform the former department store in Edinburgh.

World Class: Artists impression of new site. <strong>Diageo</strong>
World Class: Artists impression of new site. Diageo

Plans to transform a former House of Fraser building into a whisky visitor centre have been approved by councillors in Edinburgh.

Drinks giant Diageo will now convert the site on the west corner of Princes Street into the Johnnie Walker Whisky Experience.

The new attraction is set to create up to 180 full-time jobs and the building’s iconic cantilever clock will be fully restored.

Diageo said it would create the “best bar in the world” on a roof terrace, offering views of Edinburgh Castle and across the city.


Edinburgh planning leader Councillor Neil Gardiner said: “This is a very welcome massive investment in the city. 

“The use of the rooftop and upper levels is good and it’s using Princes Street to its best.”

The new development is scheduled to open its doors by Christmas 2020.

David Cutter, chairman of Diageo in Scotland, said: “This is another significant step forward in our journey to create an inspiring flagship destination for Johnnie Walker.


“We have had great support for our proposals from local stakeholders and businesses in Edinburgh and we are grateful to everyone who has helped us to get to this stage.

“We will continue to work with the local community as we now progress with construction and with making our plans a reality.”

Cristina Diezhandino, Diageo global Scotch whisky director, said: “We are incredibly excited by our plans for the Johnnie Walker visitor experience in Edinburgh where people can explore, discover, and immerse themselves in story of the world’s leading whisky brand.

“We have ambitious plans to make this a truly world-leading attraction, drawing people from the four corners of the globe to Scotland and to give them an unforgettable experience in Scotch whisky and Scottish culture.”

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