With its decorative Italianate design, the Boat Brae building was originally a row of seven single storey shops. Before the Tay Road Bridge was opened in 1966, these shops serviced passengers from the Tay Ferries - the “Fifies” - which were the main mode of transport between Dundee and Newport at the time.
After the road bridge opened, local amenities moved up to Newport’s High Street and the shops gradually closed down. Until the 1990s Dundee University made use of the space to operate its Tay Estuary Research Centre (TERC) but unfortunately, when the University vacated the building, it fell into a dramatic state of dereliction for a number of years. Thankfully, however, it was then beautifully restored by marine owners, Liz and Davie Anderson.
In 2018, long-term local resident and well-known interior designer Alan Beaton saw an opportunity to create a space that could be used by locals and visitors alike and made the move to convert the premises into a bar and restaurant. Boat Brae opened its doors in July 2019 and the result speaks for itself.
With the bar, which ties in with the 19th century architecture and feels like it’s always been there; the restaurant, which lets diners feel like they’re on a boat; and the glass-framed decking which faces west catching the sunsets over the Tay, Boat Brae is quite a spectacular place to be.
More on Newport’s history can be found at: www.newportontayhistory.org.uk