As a gay man who lived in Cardiff for 8 years, I must say that the gay scene there died in 2007 when Pulse (or ‘Repulse’ as I call it) opened which then led on to the opening of Wow Bar and 4Play which later became Kings to capitalise on the closure of Kings Cross which in now the Corner House restaurant.
Before that, Charles Street was almost always busy and the clubs were full. Exit and X really were the places to be. The problem with the Cardiff gay scene is that it had too many venues. At one point, there were 11 gay or gay-friendly venues: King’s Cross, Golden Cross, Pulse, Wow Bar, 4Play, Fusion, Eagle, Icon, X, Exit, X:it and Minsky’s. And all of this for a city with a population of 330,000. It was never going to be sustainable.
The idea of a gay village is rather outdated for many reasons. We don’t really need to be ghettoised any more, and a night out in Manchester’s gay village will just show you that it’s more of a place for hen parties and straight women to have a hassle-free night out rather than a place for gay men and lesbians to meet. This is mainly due to the use of mobile app dating services like Scruff and Grindr which have totally destroyed gay nightlife as well as greater tolerance, acceptance and equality generally and the economic downturn. People don’t go out any more. Gays do their dating and meeting over apps. Also, why on earth would somebody want to put up with Wow Bar or Pulse when they can have a much nicer night out in a restaurant or a quiet straight bar?
I have many fond memories of Charles Street, but the kind of gay scene it offered is from an age gone by.
Good news for the craft beer/ale drinkers:
Urban Tap House is opening on 25th September
and Brewdog have confirmed they've put an offer in on a site in Cardiff:
Hi @RyanJones62. We've made an offer on a site in Cardiff so we might have a craft beer outpost there soon Fingers crossed, mate.— BrewDog (@brewdog) September 18, 2013
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
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