Several years ago I took a tour of the then-under-construction Bustin’s Building with Keith Brideau. We were working with him through Tuck, offering lighting options for the apartments Historica was preparing upstairs. Our tour eventually led us down to the basement which, at that time, consisted of some really rough, unpromising spaces.
My heart raced.
I stepped out of the meeting with Keith to call my husband, Robert, and said, “I need to take and restore one of these spaces!”
Huddle Article: “Saint John Getting More Tuck” June 14, 2016
I had no real business plan, but I could see that this alley in particular, and Grannan Street in general, was on the cusp of some exciting and meaningful change, and we wanted the opportunity to be part of it.
I dragged my friend and fellow local entrepreneur, Mike Duncan, in to look at the space which is now Rogue Coffee. For a long time, Grannan Alley was populated by Tuck Interiors, Rogue Coffee and, for a year or two, Yuk Yuk’s Comedy Club.
Initially I had planned to use the space for my interior design offices (read article: “What’s on my desk: Judith Mackin” here). This lasted about twelves minutes. The important factor that I didn’t take into account was that I couldn’t be in two places at once. Although it was a great place for working in silence, I was constantly running down to Tuck to be with my team and our clients.
About a year ago we changed the zoning with the city and set the space up as a rental venue for everyone. Rentals included team building gatherings, film locations, pop-up shops for retail and art, along with seasonal and private parties. Some wonderful people got married in this space as well!
And, then before we knew it, our three-year lease was up! We had to decide whether or not we would continue on with the lease or let this marvelous space go. It wasn’t an easy decision. We very much loved being part of the community on Grannan Alley and the space itself was so incredibly beautiful.
However, as we are working on another downtown project (our Commercial loft at 115 Prince William Street being turned into a LIVE/WORK unit), we decided to let this space go in the hope that the next renters will love the space as much as we did and add something new and wonderful to our thriving uptown core!