Former Abbotsford Arms Hotel in Galashiels could become a Starbucks drive-thru

A former Galashiels hotel earmarked for the site of a new Starbucks drive-thru has become an illegal drinking den, a town councillor has revealed.

By Paul Kelly
Tuesday, 24th August 2021, 10:10 am
Councillor Euan Jardine outside the former Abbotsford Arms Hotel. (Photo: BILL McBURNIE)

Galashiels and district councillor Euan Jardine is supportive of the coffee giant’s

planning application to Scottish Borders Council to flatten the old Abbotsford Arms Hotel in Stirling Street and build a new outlet there which would operate seven days a week.

Earlier this year a bid by Kentucky Fried Chicken to locate a restaurant on the site was withdrawn after the company failed to come to an agreement with the landowners.

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Abbotsford Hotel.

The hotel has been earmarked for demolition a number of years ago but this has not taken place as yet.

Mr Jardine, who spoke with representatives of Starbucks after KFC pulled out, believes the company’s interest in setting up in Galashiels is an endorsement of all the town has to offer.

He said: “It is a strong sign that Galashiels is moving forward with its regeneration when a internationally renowned brand like Starbucks has chosen Galashiels to open a new outlet.

“The current site has not been occupied for many years and has become a bit of a drinking den and area for anti-social behaviour.

"The plans for Starbucks are very interesting and I really hope it will create jobs and deliver an uplift in that part of town. I would also be keen to see what they can do for the wider community in terms of helping to support new projects.”

When fully operational the hotel had 15 bedrooms and an 50-seat restaurant.

The planning report from David Wilson, director with Glasgow-based Opfer Logan Architects, says: “Full planning permission is sought for the demolition of the existing hotel buildings and the creation of a Class 1 / Class 3 coffee shop of 214 sqm with ancillary drive-thru lane and associated parking.

"Increasingly coffee houses like Starbucks have become spaces where their customers frequently hold meetings, interviews and business lunches.

"Starbucks acknowledge the relationship between coffee houses and the business community.”

The opening hours of the drive-thru would be 6am to 10pm, seven days a week.