I'm not quite up with whats going on down there right now. With life/liquid and the square gone are the only late night venues (ie 12+) on that side of the street the philharmonic and insomnia (or whatever its called, the 6am one)? Walkabout closes at 12 doesnt it?
It would be nice if that section or road could remain open on weekend nights.
Brains close the Model Inn -
They have no plans for it even though it was mooted previously that it was to be refurbed. I'm not suprised it always looked empty whenever I went past it. A bit of a blow for the Council's Castle Quarter ambitions maybe especially as development in Womamby St seems to have stalled (when is the Staff club going to get off the ground)?
Absolutely incredible. This decision is beyond belief.
Let's hope they appeal and expose this saturation policy for the nonsense it is (I support it if it prevents NEW premises, but not for existing clubs)
The Saturation policy is inflexible and leads to ridiculous decisions like this. Crime could be controlled better by using existing powers to close down clubs and bars with which large numbers of crimes are associated rather than using Draconian regulations that prevent the opening of any new licensed premises unless the operators can prove that not a single additional crime will take place.
The policy has many pernicious effects:
- it reduces competition for bar operators meaning they can charge higher prices and offer worse service / drinks.
- it prevents new operators offering something different from the Walkabout / Weatherspooons style beer barns from coming in as it doesn't differentiate by type of establishment
- it leads to large numbers of empty premises that are unsuitable for anything other than nightclubs or bars given the high saturation level.
And it doesn't seem to make sense in a policing sense. Surely its easier to police one big concentration of bars than several disperate areas.
If anything the policy is now effectively acting in support of the 'vertical' drinking establishments as it is preventing different kinds of venues from setting up in competition! The Floyd's application and now this should have been waved through without opposition as they would offer an alternative to the pile 'em high, sell it cheap venues which contribute so much to the problems in the first place.
Does anyone know the formal mechanism for expressing support for the appeal?
The company email is here:
I have written to them and asked how people can support it.
I'm really quite angry about this. The principle of the saturation policy is sound, but it should only apply to new premises on St Mary Street, and not new licences for premises that are already nightclubs/bars
I couldn't agree more with the points raised on the one hand the council want to make the whole street a vibrant area and then turn down an opportunity to bring something unique to cardiff and make it a bit more classy. This is a great chance to move away from the drink until I drop establishments. The police should target these premises and stop them selling cheap booze to people who shouldn't be served in the first place as they are normally off their heads.
If they continue with this policy what is the future for St Mary's street - it seems a bit pointless spending all this money doing it up then not allowing anyone to come in and run a business.
It seems to me that the police will as a matter of course oppose any application in St Mary St/High St and that the council will as a matter of course refuse the licence as they will not want to be seen to be ignoring police recommendations. I forsee almost all applications going to appeal now which may not be much of a problem for the big boys like Tesco, Sainsbury, Wetherspoons etc etc but for local outfits like Floyds may be prohibitivcely expensive.
It seems as though the licensing committee of the Council are attempting to fetter their own discretion and ignore the licensing framework. Its the same with City Rd/Crwys Rd with no new restaurants.
But the policy is so inflexible that you get the crazy situation of licences being granted literally yards away from St Mary St in premises that have never had a licence before whereas established venues that have been specifically kitted out for A3 use are rejected. And at the same time St Mary St withers on the vine as what retailer is going to take on one of the units like Life? And am I right in saying that the preponderence of bars at the southern end of St Mary St was partly due to council policy to zone this type of activity in the first place?
Its madness and dare I say it 'provincial.' Its as though Cardiff is being dragged back into the 70's when the place was a backwater and flys in the face of the Councils stated aim to create a version of Temple Bar around the Castle and reinvigorate St Mary St.
I hear the new cafe place in the old registry office on Park Place will be run by the people behind Mocha Lounge/The North Star/Vulcan Lounge/Lansdowne/forthcoming swish restaurant on High St.
Quite a portfolio they are building. I wonder if the Park Place one will have a later licence? It is outside the St Mary St saturation policy...
Re: This club on St MAry Street.
YOu can see the licensing reports here. (under licensing committee)
It seems that Cllr Pickard is the man to blame for this mindlessness. He even asks first if the proposed club is in the saturation zone, and then goes on to oppose it, so clearly he doesn't understand the policy before objecting.
What an absolute joke!
He's the Councillor for Cathays. I think he should stick to Cathays, because the city centre is clearly too complex. (Yes, I know that the city centre is strictly in Cathays, but this stresses the point for better management of the city centre)
His contact details are here.
The St Mary Street saturation policy could have some flexibility introduced into it, as part of possible reform under which venues open after 12pm are charged extra money to pay for the policing that goes with their opening (70% goes to the police):
Seems a little odd. Surely it will be the chains and the massive verticle drinking barns that have the financial clout to deal with this and it will be the cafe floyds and toucan clubs that face cash flow issues in paying the bills or lack the legal support to challenge for the favourable position.
They suggest the council could apply exemptions and amendments to the levy charge, but when do these policies ever benefit the little guy over the negotiating power of the big establishments? I guess we need to see the detail.
If everything is as it seems per the above posts (ie there are no other reasons of which we are unaware) then it really is indefensible that the proposed burlesque club has had its application turned down.
Surely the licencing committee members aren't so dim as to be unable to differentiate between somewhere like this and somewhere like Walkabout?
PS James - I cannot see any reference to that councillor in the licensing reports link that you sent (above)
licensing sub committee.
There is now a To Let sign in the windows of Floyds which presumably means they ahve given up on the bar and won't be appealing.
I wonder how long that unit will remain empty? Perhaps as long as the unit a couple of doors up which has been empty for at last 2 years, ditto the one across the road next to Kitchens, or even the unit next to Bench which has been empty for the best part of a decade.
Way to go with turning High St into a vibrant Castle Quarter.
Within a year it will be a Spar. There is a gradual erosion down from St Mary Street towards High Street of traditional shops closing (and either laying empty or being converted to convenience stores / fast food / etc). Such a shame really as looking at todays picture the street is looking so much better at the moment following the repaving.
James - thanks for that. There were only 2009 documents on there when I checked yesterday - perhaps the site was being updated as I checked.....alternatively it might have been my incompetence.
This is a 2 venue application for one venue to be called SOLID and one venue to be called the Greene Room.
I realise that what I'm about to say sounds superficial (what's in a name etc etc) but the venue called SOLID doesn't sound too burlesque-ish to me! It sounds like it could well be a magnet for 'home-grown' local assholes trying to imitate the assholes they see on music videos on MTV etc.
Do you think it sounds burlesque-ish?
Karl - I noticed that when I walked past yesterday. In fact I needn't have bothered cos it's on the photo of the day above if you look closely.
I also noticed that there is a tidy new cafe called Barkers Coffee just around the corner in the Castle Arcade if anyone is interested.
Barkers as in the clothes store ? Is it next to their shop ?
Yep - you can walk through the dividing doors from the clothes shop straight into the cafe.
Seems like the Echo has picked up on the same issue with the saturation policy that we have. Councillor Bridges says they can distinguish by the "class of venue" but that in this case the venue couldn't offer "assurances on public safety". But the problem is that is placing the burden of proof on the wrong party, particularly because they have to prove that there will be no additional crimes. How can one prove that? It should be the police who have to prove there will be a notable increase in crime.
But asking the chair of the licensees body and bars/pubs that have licences if they support a policy that effectively reduces the competition they face is stupid. Of course the licensees don't want more competition so they love the policy! They'll only change their mind if the number of venues falls below a critical mass making it not worthwhile for revellers to visit.
If they are willing to distinguish between the 'class of venue' then why was cafe floyd not allowed to move its quiet cafe-bar downstairs? It wouldhave offered something really nice, not available elsewhere in the city centre, and certainly not on St Mary St.
I guess they couldn't provide any gurantees that there wouldn't be any extra crime in the area; which is quite frankly an impossible task. The entire policy is stupid and unfortunately I don't see it changing in the near future.
It does make me wonder why they bothered spending all that money on repaving the street if they're just going to act as an obstacle to anyone wishing to set-up business in the area on the basis that they want to sell a few drinks.
I'm somewhat encouraged by that article though. There seems to be acknowledgement from the council that the policy (at least in terms of St Mary St) has served its purpose in its current form and may need to be revised, and at least recognition that the night time economy of Cardiff is a thing of subtle gradations which need to be treated on their own merits.
Le Gallois to close next month -
A blow to Cardiff's culinary reputation or was it overated anyway?
I was about to post this. I'm not sure really. I think its a shame if its not taken on by another restaurant operator as Pontcanna has quite a good reputation as a place to go for a couple of good restaurants. I'd like to see Pontcanna develop into something like Clifton Village with a few more independent retailers, plus one or two niche chain stores catering to yummy mummy types, and a couple of higher-class bars and restaurants. As I've said before, I wouldn't mind if we saw a weakening of the city-centre offer if we could get a proper secondary centre. So its worrying if it signals a decline in Pontcanna as a place to go.
Is it a culinary disaster? Probably not. It was good for Cardiff but that really isn't saying all that much.
Cardiff really lacks good quality restaurants, so i would say it's a shame. I really do struggle to think of high quality places here now, which really does need to change, and i'm amazed there are so few.
Perhaps this closure is linked to the opening of the new Greggs nearby?
Refit going on at the yard right now.
And Signor Valentinos down the Bay.
I like this game!
Incidentally, Signor Valentinos is a fantastic restaurant to say in a Kairdiff accent.
January is re-fit time in the beer business. Do when it's quite...
I quite liked the art deco-ish feel of Henry's. I hope they don't get rid of it totally. It took the edge off the price of beer there.
Henry's is open again already it appears. Just a fresh coat of paint and a little clean-up it looks like (through the window anyway, didn't go in!)
I'm a bit upset that no one is playing my 'Restaurants that sound good in a Cardiff accent' game.
Drive past Juno lounge yesterday - appeared to be undergoing a refit, or at least redecoration.
Maybe they are turning it into an Australian themed sports bar.
Zync at the bottom of St Mary St is 'going under review' with the police wanting it to be shut down:
Interesting in relationship to other discussions had about the saturation policy and decision on other venues in the area.
If Zync closed then it is only likely to re-open as another bar at some point. What else would go there? Maybe they are hoping for a nicer bar like Mocha next door. Maybe that wont work.
Someone needs to keep the police in check here, because they are getting out of control with this.
It is absurd to try and close down places because a few idiots start a fight there. Punish the individuals FFS.
Anyone know anything about the Kuku Club?
Looks like it claims to be a swanky members only club that's part of the park plaza hotel (you enter through laguna) but they are experimenting with having nights open to the public at large. Doesn't sound like a sign of success.
I'm not sure if this is old news, but it looks like the Raymond Blanc restaurant planned for the Ebenezer Chapel isn't going to happen.
Shame, I was really looking forward to seeign that open.
Sounds like a problem with the building more than anything. Shame though, as it would have perfectly complemented that location. Still, lets hope they come to Cardiff soon.
Bar Ha Ha is becoming something called 'Browns' apparently. Still a chain, although I've never heard of it.
I know its a chain and we shouldn't get too excited but going by their existing locations the fact that they have chosen Cardiff to open gives an indication as to how far the city has come.
Going back into the 90's, or even the early 2000's, it would seem incredible that Cardiff could sustain the upper end chains like Brown's, Carluccio's, Jamies, Cote, etc. Indeed going back further the mid range chains like Prezzo, Zizzi, Pizza Express, Cafe Rouge, John Lewis etc wouldn't have darkened the toll booths on the (old) Severn Bridge.
The fact that Brasserie Blanc are still sniffing around also speaks volumes.
On a slightly different note does anyone know if there is any interest in the old Slug and Lettuce unit(what an utterly shit 1990's self conciously 'out there' name that was)?
Kings Cross is set to become a gastro pub according to -
Gay campaigners not happy.
The problem with The King's is that it is in a very prime pitch now the Hayes has been transformed. I doubt the weekly sales figures are very good as is or M&B wouldn't be looking to re-develop it.
Can't imagine a new 'gastro' doing big figures in the winter months though as the inside space is very small.
Would like to be able to say that I'd miss it if it went but....I can't!
Spookily enough I went into the place last night for half an hour. I just found it vulgar and very 'Little Britain' esque. There was a screaming foul mouthed tranny doing karaoke interspersed with comments so vulgar that I was cringing with embarrassment.
I've been there twice. It doesn't score highly as a traditional pub (unlike the Golden Cross for example) but it seems a shame to change it. I hope it's not a bland, dullard gastropub that contributes nothing to the city.
Like it or not, the Kings Cross is an institution and adds something culturally to Cardiff.
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