“Education, salvation and damnation.” Aberdeen locals will know what this refers to; the famous architectural line up of our Central Library, St Mark’s Church and His Majesty’s Theatre – all just a stone’s throw from Union Terrace Gardens.


We are currently bidding for occupancy of one of the regenerated Gardens’ pavilions and if successful, we want the pavilion to mean something to the community and to offer a way to enjoy our gardens and our history. So, we are turning things on their head, by proposing to create a space which instead offers a purpose of “discovery, enlightenment and celebration”, as a contemporary vision for the terrace.

Our proposed space at the pavilion and terrace will bring pleasure to the senses and function as a gateway to encourage all to take the pathway into the Gardens to celebrate the old and embrace the new.

“But how?” you may reasonably ask…

We believe that the creation of a genuine café culture will have an incredibly positive impact upon the city. Café culture is not a new thing - it has been around since the 1500s, providing a backdrop to conversation, innovation, revelation, and lots of laughs – and it is something that would fit Aberdeen like a glove.

We began the journey to revive our café culture last year, by taking ownership of Books and Beans. An unforeseen pandemic accelerated this journey, as we encouraged, collaborated, and invested with our Belmont Street neighbours to create something special, something different, and the right kind of environment for everyone in Aberdeen to enjoy at a time when it was most needed. An outside café culture is now thriving on Belmont Street.

For us, the next step is to apply that drive, passion, and desire to collaborate within the regenerated Union Terrace Gardens, providing discovery, enlightenment, and celebration in equal measure - complementing the city’s already vibrant arts scene whilst serving outstanding local produce to customers.

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

The Rosemount Pavilion is literally located on the ‘road to enlightenment’ – and Aberdeen’s most famous enlightenment philosopher was Thomas Reid. A graduate of the University of Aberdeen, Reid was a Church of Scotland minister before being given a professorship at King’s College in 1752.

Reid wrote ‘An Inquiry into the Human Mind on the Principles of Common Sense’, published in 1764, and established the Scottish School of Common Sense.

His thinking and the Common Sense school with its ‘self-evident truths’ greatly influenced philosophical debate in the formative United States – and ultimately influenced the wording of the US Declaration of Independence in 1776. Today, common sense endures as a concept and is accepted to mean good sense in practical matters. It is defined as sound judgment concerning everyday matters; a basic or common ability to best understand and judge the quality of a thing, place or idea in a manner that is shared by (nearly) all people.

Spaces to build relationships and consensus is what we need to strengthen our city centre and brighten the day for all whom live, work, and visit Aberdeen. We propose to play our part to deliver this and prove it can be done. We plan to combine this old school philosophy (established by Aberdeen’s finest enlightenment thinker) with the contemporary desire to experience good practical judgement in all things – in short, good taste.

Some would say that common sense appears to be in short supply these days and we would like to be a part of helping us all find a new consensus for our great city.

So here it is...

This is more than a coffee house and bar.


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