There is an application in for the unit formerly occupied by Taste in High Street (next to Kitchens). It's for a Spanish cafe bar called La Bodega which will sell exclusively Spanish produce. The people behind it own A Shot in the Dark in City Rd and One in the WMC apparently.
There is an application by Turtle Bay Caribbean restaurants for the old Barclays Bank unit on the ground floor of Hodge House. The are a small chain with restaurants in Bristol, Leicester, Southampton, Nottingham and Milton Keynes.
With the Bodega application (see my last post on this thread), Barbucci due to open soon, a unit next to Greggs due to be a sit down chicken restaurant, the existing outlets in High Street such as Zizzi, Pizza Express etc plus the Model Inn and Old Orleans both being converted from bars to restaurants this area is becoming quite dominated by eateries. I'm not sure if this is good or bad although one less empty unit that isn't filled by a bookmakers must be a positive.
I've heard very good things about The Urban Tap House, since it opened on Wednesday.
Also, the Grazing Shed on Barrack Lane.
Yup, was at Urban Tap House on Wednesday and it was excellent. If you have any liking for beer it's an absolute must. As well as a great range of real ales and keg beers the bottled beer menu stretches to around 100 varieties. Good service, knowledgeable staff and terrific burgers also. And they've done no more to the building than was necessary. I'm struggling to think of how they could have done a better job.
An application is in for the old Life/Liquid units. It would appear that the application is for a ground floor bar/restaurant called Maddisons and a basement nightclub called DC's. Although its unlikely that I will be a frequent patron it will be good to see this unit brought back into use. This plus the news that Craig Bellamy has bought the Philharmonic (although this could be a load of crap), the application for the Square club to be turned into a multi use venue and Morrisons taking over two units that have been empty for as long as I can remember may signify changing fortunes for this end of town?
There is also a rumour that Brains want to re-furb Kitty Flynns and revert it back to the Cambrian. Is this plus Pierre Bistro opening in the Brewery Quarter and Waterloo Tea Gardens opening in an almost full Wyndham Arcade (which for years has always been the poor relation as far as the arcades go) symptomatic of a shift in focus for the city centre? We knew that the Hayes had usurped Queen Street as the premier shopping street and that SD2 had annihilated the Capitol. Are we now seeing a trickle effect from the Hayes/SD2 seeping into High Street (which looks like it will have a few extra restaurants soon) and St Mary Street?
Some good points there Karl. I don't know whether there are particular reasons behind the trend, but it bodes well - certainly compared with the utter eyesore of those buildings being empty, dirty and skanky.
I call my brand of Libertarianism 'Jantrametrics'. The state is rolled back and the true leaders of society, people like accountants are promoted to a 'custodian' role. These natural leaders determine policy and form organisations to provide services, paid for through taxation. Of course renumeration for the leaders is on par with the pay of CEOs of large corporations.
One of my first tasks would be to trim the bloated Welsh public sector. I would run all pubs and clubs according to strict guidelines, enforced by my private-sector officials. Gone would be the pubs ful of Labour-voting public-sector workers, in would come cool bars playing Brandon Block á là Northern Quarter in Manchester.
Next to go would be the clubs full of fat valleys women with no class wearing rugby shirts and pink cowboy hats; they would be replaced by Bristol-style hipster joints where you might rub shoulderss with Tricky at the bar while Alison Goldfrapp mixes some flip-hop on her mixer desk.
All done on the private sector unlike Cardiff's state-run WKD gulags full of dreadful nationalist pollyannas and local authority flexi-workers spending MY hard-earned taxes.
When is episode 4 this stuff is brilliant?
What makes you think I missed the hacienda early days? Why the hacienda anyway, it wasn't even the best club in mcr, hippos was
Not only that but Brandon block and goldfrapp, just how cutting edge are these bars going to be. Can we have moggy and Scott Rutherford instead?
There are two licensing applications on Queen Street, one for the former 'Sugacane' store which faces onto Churchill Way and the other for what was (I think) Cash For Gold on the corner of Windsor Place.
The application for the Sugacane unit is for a high end 'traditional fish restaurant and take away'. Objections from the police but also the licensing department themselves on this (which is rare in my experience). Licensing say that although it's not in the Saturation Zone, it's close to it, and they have objected on those grounds alone. A weak objection, which seems to undermine setting such explicit zones in the first place.
The one for the Cash For Gold unit is for an off licence for a Welsh winemaker which currently has a concession in Howells, but whose name escapes me. They've applied for a licence until 9pm, but I doubt they'd need to open any time after 8, so maybe they've gone for later as a bit of a bargaining chip.
Not sure if this is the best thread to post it on but anyway, here's a very nice write-up of a weekend in Cardiff from the travel section of the New York Times:
I have heard that the Spanish bar on High Street (old Taste unit) is now open. Did it get an alcohol license? Or are they trading as a cafe in the first case? I've not been near by. Could the saturation policy be on its ways out? I dont see why this is too different to the proposal to open Floyd's bar as a cafe downstairs that got knocked back a couple of years ago, so if the booze is following then something may have changed.
Word has it that a large operator in Cardiff is planning to take the whole saturation policy to a judicial review should they not get their own way with an upcoming application (they own venues in two of the main areas where the policy is in place)
Really! Is this very recent? I would have thought the residents on Westgate Street would have opposed it, as they successfully did the old Fire Island unit.
So today i stuck my head around the door of La Bodega, the Spanish bar in the old Taste unit. It looks good, although everything is still very very new looking. It opened on saturday. Hopefully it will become more homely with age. They have an alcohol licence, open 11 til 11. High chairs and tables at the front, then the bar, normal tables and chairs at the back. It could be excellent, exactly what Cardiff city centre needs. Somewhere for a drink that isn't a loud piss-up joint. You could even say it leans towards sophisticated, although that might over sell it. It is not nearly as cosy as Shot in the Dark though. Everything is Spanish. I wonder if over time they will need to soften that to survive. I dont think the high chairs at the front are very welcoming for the coffee crowd that surely their day time trade must look to attract. But somewhere I think worth supporting.
While I was there, I also looked into the new curry house in the old Pizza Hut unit. I always thought the yellow sign was garish and horrible. It now seems even more incongruous as the inside of the restaurant is quite understated black and white tones, quite classy like. I think it makes a contribution to the area, internally it seems the most upmarket curry house in town. If only it looked it from the outside...
And to finish the tour I had a quick look at the Zizzi refurb. Basically it seems to be pretty much the same as it ever was.
The former Promised Land on Windsor Place is to be refurbished and open as a piano bar apparently.
Also, Wow Bar on Churchill Way has been 'passed on' to a new owner, amidst tales of unpaid bills and bailiffs turning up, but appears to be trading as normal.
I see that the Brewery 1/4 has had a lick of paint on the rendered walls (from white to turquoise) to spruce things up, and the flank which faces onto Caroline St has had a plasticky wooden frame attached with led lights along their length. It's not exactly neon city and could have been done better with a bit more cash, but I think that it is an improvement on what was there before.
Wellingtons external scaffold has also come down. From what I can see, this was for external repairs only ( removing trees from roof etc).
I went in a couple of Saturdays ago and was struck by how positively miserable and disinterested the both bar staff were.
It doesn't matter too much in the grand scheme of things, but the new Brewery Quarter signs are awful. They look like some miserable tacky expensive coffee chain on some miserable tacky expensive service station.
Just gone out for a couple of beers today and have noticed that the old Liquid/Life units are now occupied by a club called Maddison. It has a website too, http://www.maddisondc.com, looks ok with the outside with black and white signage, it's just nice seeing the premises used again. Spoke to the bouncers at The Bunker and they say the place had it's opening on Thursday. Just thought i'd relay this info, off for another Bow!
They have a bright coloured ceiling
A group of us went in there on thursday to have a look, then realised it was the opening night. Sadly, the overall impression is that is just feel like a giant chain bar, actually just felt like a slightly smarter Oceana/Glam. The branding and fittings look like something from 10 years ago. I didn't see any food at all and there was a giant dancefloor with pounding chart music - certainly felt like a club/bar and not a food joint. I know it's so much better than still being boarded up units and I hope it starts making a big difference at that end of town, but after all the setbacks caused by the saturation policy, it just feels such a shame that it's the same old pseudo 'VIP' drinking nightspot, catering for the pissed masses.
Looks like there's a license application in the window of 31 Westgate St from Brewdog....finally!
According to google maps, that's the Queens Vaults?
I'm all for Brewdog, but the Vaults is one of the best, cheapest and happiest boozers in town.
Some news on The Square
My friends and I are exploring the idea of opening a hipster joint in Penarth called
"The Troll on Charlie".
I love these random, quasi-"heritage" pub names that have no pertinence to actual reality.
The friend who suggested the name is a real wag. Who knows where he plucked this name from?
I care not!!!
There is a licensing application outside the old Promised Land bar. Can't remember the name, but it sounded 'pubby'.
A planning application has been submitted to erect new signage to the exterior of Reflex on St Mary Street
It's going to be renamed Popworld
Urgh what an awful name. Perhaps they think they'll get punters in based on the irony of going somewhere as naff as "popworld". That may well work in more bohemian cities - but the irony will be lost on those who descend on Cardiff on a Friday or Saturday.
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