A brother and sister duo have turned a former brothel into a stylish coffee and wine bar, with months of renovations and dedication paying off. 29-year-old Georgie Thomas and her brother, Will, were handed the keys to the building, situated at 39 Lochaber Street, just two days after the former brothel closed it’s doors.
Speaking about what led them to opening a coffee and wine bar, Will said: “When I was little, I wanted to be a professional lego builder. Then, being pretty hands on and interested in mechanics of how things fit together and work, architecture crossed my mind. But at around the age of 16, having grown up working for our parent’s catering company and gaining a love of sharing generous hospitality through food and drink, Georgie and I half-jokingly suggested that if all else failed we should open a cafe together.”
“We both graduated with art degree’s, got into specialty coffee and natural wine and decided that we could actually do something together.
Turning a former brothel into an appealing coffee shop was a gruelling process, with Will adding: “The process was a combination of fun, exciting, tedious and slow. We learnt to be patient with so many things that were out of our control. We got lost in details- yes the light pull in the bathroom matters. Lockdown slowed things down, but that maybe turned out to be a good thing. It meant that by the time we were ready to open, the restrictions were a little more accommodating to hospitality venues.”
Georgie added: “We had a guy in called Hugo who helped us with the layout and he’s also worked as an electrical engineer with his brother, so he helped us with the design and licensing process. It’s just quite surreal. It’s been a long time in the making.”
Explaining their plans for the future, Will said: We’re pretty focused on getting things steady and hoping to find a way to work in a morning wall before we open for now! But thinking forward, we’d love to get some guest chef’s in to do food for our evening.”