Bar/club activity in Cardiff:::
I thought I’d set up a thread to draw a few things together from other threads, and a few new things I’ve found out:
- Revolution, Castle Street – Chain pop/RnB bar
- Swell, Windsor Place – lively jazz club open late, small place.
- Move, Mill Lane – formerly Red Rooms, re-brands and reopens as small dance club for drug taking. Locally run.
- Platinum, St Mary Street – formerly Tropicana, pop venue rebrands and reopens as similar thing. Localy owned I think (prob one of the biggest locally owned locations on St Mary St as it also includes the Whispers bar).
- Ten feet Tall, larger independent club run by the Buffalo people on Church Street, old Topo Giogi site, to open March/April
- Glamorgan Council Club, Westgate Street/Womanby St – closed 3 months ago for not paying any rent for 3 years. Due to go to auction (for any purpose) mid-Feb, old members trying to sort a deal to re-open and re-pay debt.
- Zero Degrees – Westgate Street, refurbishing old taxi office to open as funky bar/restaurant in coming months.
- Permission being sought from the council to open a bar called Calcutta on Womanby Street on the old Sugar site, 4am licence, roof-top beer garden.
- Varsity bars currently refurbishing old video shop/tae kwon do gym on Richmond Road/Crwys Road junction.
- Chapter Arts Centre bar – Chapter are applying for permission for a major refurbishment to the whole centre, including a temporary move of the bar to the Studio site close to its existing location, eventually to be move back into re-furbished building. Refurb will close the main building almost entirely for nearly a year.
- Soda Bar, St Mary Street, said to be closing due to dispute with owner. Searching for new location.
Sports Café in the Central Hotel site (once built)
Un-named bars in the ground floor of almost every major development in central Cardiff!
Anything I’ve missed?
Sports Cafe has been opening soon in Cardiff since 2006, the delay I think is due to the slow/stopped Central Hotel redevelopment rather than themselves. However hasn't Sports Cafe recently gone into Administration?
Yes Sports cafe went into admiministration recently and has now been bought by another company. Not sure what that means for ongoing plans though - I think the Bristol Sports Cafe has now closed, for example.
I wonder if that has held up the Central Hotel development starting properly ? Have they secured anyone other than Sports Cafe for the development ? Personally I'd rather see a different type of bar there. The old Sport Cafe in the bay was never that impressive.
I noticed there was planning permission in this week for something on Womanby street...I think it was related to one of the derelict buildings there.
Somewhere new has opened up on Womanby street-in that slim three storey building that used to house a bar a couple of years ago.
Calcutta on Womanby Street is now open, was in there on saturday, was quiet but quite nice.
Bet it wont be that quiet on this Saturday with the rugby next door!
I'm interested to know what its like. What type of music were they playing? Was there a dresscode? Was it expensive? Did they charge to get in? Did you go to the roof garden?
IC Wales has a news report on the 10 feet Tall bar I mentioned above. No new info beyond what I said, but does confirm that they will have a ground level cafe, with emphasis on North African food.
I checked out the new Revolution Bar last week during a quiet early evening period . It was the typical case of great looking interiors, plenty of staff working (doing what exactly I don;t know).... yet the drinks took fifteen minutes to arrive (after a ten minute wait to get served) and the food (two tastless sandwiches) took fifty minutes to arrive!
So it's great if you want to admire the chandeliers and the parquet floor but not so great for getting served.
I was in Calcutta during the England v Wales match so cant tell you much about the music as it was playing the commentary. Was a smart looking place, lots of wood and slate (I believe), a couple of large LCDs/Plasmas for the rugby. Type of place that would definitly have a dress code later on in the night but not at 4pm in the afternoon, drink prices were about average (£3 a pint for lager). Didnt pay to get in at that time of day. Staff were all quite friendly too.
Its not the biggest of bars, could easily become quite exclusive I think.
Didnt spot the roof terrace myself, the top floor was off limits at the time.
Re the Calcutta Club : The roof terrace is not open yet. I spoke to the owners yesterday. They are basically giving the venue a soft opening (initially without membership) with a view to gradually opening up the other floors as and when demand dictates and introduing a membership scheme later maybe.
Let It Rock Ltd have applied for an alcohol and music licence for premises in the Globe Centre (125 Albany road). The licence is from midday to midnight Sunday -Thursday and midday to 1am Fri and Sat.
With the new Varsity openning in a few months, this and the very popular Juno lounge on Wellfield Road which opened last year, Roath nightlife is really on the up.
Any word on what 'let it rock ltd' do? Sounds very interesting, where did you get the info? Anything else? It being an old cinema, its possible that they are thinking of a live music venue with a name like that?
I'm very interested in this as I live just a few doors down from there. Unlike most people, who tend to get called NIMBYs on here, I really like the idea of a late night music venue down the road!
And if we are celebrating Roaths new drinking houses, let not forget the excellent milgi, the city really doesnt have anything else like it with the focus on creativity and the yurt outside.
I live just around the corner from the premises so got a letter from the council asking for any objections.
Im not sure that the premises used to be an old cinema, the globe centre is the shopping complex that includes the billabong pub half way down albany road, you may be thinking of the cinema then bowling alley place on city road (which is also empty and wasted at the moment).
Its hard to tell how big this site is from the outside, since I've lived in the area I've never seen it occupied.
The letter did mention live music but I cant find any details about Let It Rock Ltd at all.
Ah seems I was a bit hasty, It was in fact a cinema:
Built on a corner site with a small entrance decorated with two statues and surmounted by a globe, this cinema is fondly remembered by many.
Opened on 27th August 1914, when "every patriot should patronise this British-owned and controlled cinema" (in the words of the advertisement of the opening), the interior was attractively decorated in classical style with eagles and the initials "PC" near the domed roof, which could be opened for ventilation (at a time when most patrons would be smokers). The firm of Willmott and Smith were named as the architects, though original plans do not appear to be available.
The name Globe was adopted from about 1931 when sound was installed and the cinema was later acquired by local owner Rex Willis and operated with the Coliseum and Rialto, (both of which had opened by 1914), often showing the same programme as one of these. In the post-war era the Globe specialised in "continental films", usually subtitled, and was adapted for CinemaScope with a screen surrounded by plain board and without masking. The statues at the entrance were hidden behind boards advertising the programmes.
Bingo was tried for a short time in 1961 in an effort to follow the success of the game at the Coliseum, but films returned, gradually including more mainstream material often in double bills at very reasonable prices. It is understood that a dedicated team of long-serving staff operated the Globe into the 1980's when local students formed most of the regular patrons.
When the Capitol Cinema closed in January 1978, some seats were acquired and fitted into the Globe, but otherwise it remained, in the words of one patron "a step back into the days of the Bioscope", and acquired the status of a Grade II Listed building. Despite attempts to save the Globe Cinema, it closed on 25th May 1981 and an appeal was held to lift the Listed status of the building, which was granted in late 1986 and the building was demolished in 1987.
It was replaced by a group of shops above which was a small cinema, christened the Monroe by Brian Bull, who operated this plain but well-equipped auditorium for some years. It was taken on for a while by Chapter Arts Centre, then a Bollywood venture, but has remained closed for several years.
I went to the 'new' one when it was the Chapter arts cinema screen 3. It's quite a nice size, bigger than the ones in chapter itself I think. Could be a good venue...
But doesnt the old one sound great! The 'globe centre' is an awful looking thing in comparison.
Also in 'round that way' news, Delight - across the road and a few doors down, has now opened as a bar/eatery in the evenings, and looks very nice to!
Yes delight does look quite good, I wish something was done with the land to the left of it though, that concrete mess is a real eyesore. Also, the site next to the claude where I believe there used to be a petrol station must be ripe for some development soon.
I find it remarkable that with property prices as high a they are in areas like roath two sites like this havent been capitalised on.
I think it's the 'ex-petrol station' thing. They have big underground containers for petrol that make them expensive sites to work with compared to other sites. There is another at the bottom of City Road, and across the UK. Although the one by the claude looks to have had some work done on it a few years back. Maybe clearning the underground issues...?
The new coffee #1 on welfield road is really pushing the cafe count up around that way. I hope they dont all push each other out of business...
I believe you can't build on the site of a former petrol station for 2 years. The one next door to the Claude has been left far longer than though!
I have fond memories of the Globe - the epitome of a fleapit cinema in the 1980's. It was in an awful state by the time it closed and I believe that the balcony area was no longer open to the public on h & s grounds! I suspect that had it been shut 10 years later the facade of the building would have been kept and converted into other uses. A shame although it has to be said that as far as listed buildings go the Globe was not exactly a looker from the outside.
I went down to Wellfield Rd the other day. I was suprised at how affluent it felt. It always had a better class of shops than Albany Road but the clientele were mainly of the 'ladies that lunch' 'yummy mummy' variety or a mix of affluent looking students and young professional types. It reminded me of a smaller version of Northcote Road in south London. It also spreads round to Albany Rd with a good mix of decent restaurants and Wellfield Place. There has been talk of the church hall on Bangor St being converted to a Tesco's and the disused (magnificent) church next to it converted into a bar (like the Pitcher and Piano in Nottinghams Lace Market). Lets hope so.
There has been a planning application for flats and shops on the site of the old petrol station but it was slated by the planning committee. Basically the developer was trying to shoehorn far to many flats onto the site. If this gets developed that retail area will be quite a draw - similar to Pontcanna's in some ways but much larger and more ecelectic.
From IC Wales:
"TELEVISION stars are queuing up to support their favourite club in its bid to branch out into a restaurant and open until 2.30am.
Former rugby international turned BBC analyst Jonathan Davies has joined television presenter Angharad Mair and DIY SOS front man Nick Knowles in backing the Cameo Club and Bistro, Pontcanna, in its application.
The members club plans to join with the adjacent restaurant, allowing late opening in the whole building.
Owner Huw Gwyn Davies has applied to Cardiff council’s licensing sub committee to allow the new style establishment to sell drinks and late-night refreshments at the exclusive Pontcanna Street venue from 8am until 2.30am on Monday to Saturday and 8am until midnight on Sundays."
I think it's possible to read all kinds of things into this. To permit a 2am licence outside of the city centre would be a sign of a growing and diversifying city. I also think its important for (a) Cardiff's growth as a media/TV city - as the bar is for 'media types', and if the city is to attract more people up from London it has to offer a type of entertainment establishment that it currently lacks. (b) Cardiff's independent / less mainstream bars, that offer a different 'type' of night out, but seem to have been squeezed more and more out of the city centre. The counter example is Ten Feet Tall, about to open on Church Street. But even still, I frequently hear from a lot of people that Cardiff cant compete with other cities in its range of more thoughtful/artful bars. Letting a few late licenses appear beyond the city centre could help this situation.
Wait to see if it happens. I hope that it does...
The Cameo club got its late licence.
Ten Feet Tall on Church street is now open and very good from what I hear.
What was once Whispers is now operating as 'the club with no name' as a more alternative venue.
As of April Tafod - the club under the Nos Da hotel - will be holding world music and funk events, going someway to address the hole left by the toucan.
All positive news!
According to zerodegrees website, their cardiff branch will open on the first week of may.
They have a fair bit of work to do before then. I walked past the other day and inside is just a huge empty space. I hope that some of the internal fittings are in an art deco style to reflect the building itself which is one of the few genuine art deco buildings in Cardiff.
I was walking down albany road last night past the proposed Let It Rock club in the old cinema in the globe (see above) and there were these two guys getting amps out of a van. I asked the two guyes if the live music club was still going ahead and they said yeah definitly but it would be a fair while yet. They said they were testing the place out for sound.
Zero Degrees delayed slightly - “It has taken us 8 years for us to get here but we are finally coming on the 16th May.”
I like what I see in the Zero Degrees photo at the top of the page! shame it's only a 'slice' of the photo. Paul, could you post the full image in this thread? Looks funky!
I think you'll see from the pic below why I selected the 'slice' above!! but it looks like its coming along nicely
Ha, yeah I see. When I saw the slice the top of the blue sheeting hanging in the window looked like a nice outdoor umbrella! The building does look good though. Lets hope it kick-starts a clean-up of westgate street before cardiff goes live in summer '09!
And I should really think about changing my name on this site. It always looks so wierd when people address me directly as 'me'...
There's an article on icwales today about Zero Degrees.
Zero Degrees has opened - just been for lunch and it's well worth a visit. It feels different to most pubs in Cardiff (light and airy) and the lunchtime food is reasonably priced. We ordered a taster set of 5 different beers which were a nice change from the usual town fare.
I'm really looking forward to trying this place out. I'd imagine they'll do a roaring trade with Munster fans this weekend.
Had a look last night. Was lese posh in there than I had expected. I also think it isn't quite finished, but rushed open for the big rugby weekend (there's another pace a few doors down - crush? - that really isnt anywhere near ready, but looks intent on opening). Zero degrees didnt seem to have the finishing touches in places, around the door for example. Cant blame 'em like.
There are 60,000 estimated Munster fans in Cardiff this weekend according to icwales. The bulk of them will be here for a few days partying like mad so I can't say I can blame them for opening a tad early.
The old video shop on Richmond Road - rumoured on here to be a varsity bar - currently has 'to let' signs on it, suggesting varsity are no longer going ahead?
Yeah looks that way. Work suddenly stopped on the site a couple of weeks ago, quite suprising really as they seemed to have done quite a bit to the building. I blame the credit crunch!!
There are people working again on the video store on richmond road. The to let sign now states that the 1st floor premises are up for grabs. So maybe varsity are still going to take up the ground floor (they are taking their time though).
The Giovani's club/restaurant business is in debt, and soon they will close Continentals on Mill Lane.
For now the rest of the business should run as normal.
I know some people on here have expressed concerns that their restaurant on the Hayes might go, as they feel it adds character to the new SD2 area (and me too).
Giovani's blame, in part, the building work on Mill Lane impacting on trade:
I went to a new bar on Womanby Street - the Calcutta Club - when I was home this weekend. Nice decor, reasonably good music (although a little loud), reasonable prices and friendly staff. But the place was pretty much dead and this on a Friday night at about 9:30 - 10 PM. Maybe it gets busier later?
Its apparently been open for 5 months and only now are they about to market it fully - perhaps they hoped to rely on elusive word of mouth, which is difficult for a street that still is a bit of a backwater. An interesting point, made by my friend, is that he was put off by it looking expensive. They had champagne buckets next to the tables which whilst may look the part in Mayfair are probably not the best image in cost-conscious Cardiff.
Womanby Street, however, looks very nice at night time - at least the part by Quay Street. A bit more owrk, and if Ifor Bach gave a little tidy up to their entrance you'd have a nice little street. Its a shame to see Jones Court all fenced off, however. Would make a nice "Neil's Yard" style piazza with shops and cafes as opposed to offices.
There is also a new wine bar/restaurant called Brookes where the late and lamented Horse and Groom used to be. It's always empty when I go home from work at about 6. Anyone been? I hope it takes off and creates a bit of upmarket critical mass in that street. I think I read on here that the Shore Pebbles restaurant next door is quite successful so hopefully this can follow suit.
I still can't belive that there is nothing in the empty units under the Angel Hotel even though its in prime tourist territory opposite the castle. I'd say they have been empty for at least 5 years and possibly a lot more.
I think the problem with many empty units in Cardiff is a lack of investment in properly marketing them. I don't mean a huge ugly "to let" sign, but instead a bit of a refurb of the unit, nice nice windows, a good frontage etc. Just as homebuyers like a nicely presented home that looks like you can "move straight in", I'm sure many business owners do too. The Angel Hotel units look poorly maintained, dark and cramped - I wouldn't look there.
Anyone remember the Angel Tavern and the Green Parrot on Westgate Street? (underneath the Angel Hotel and former Grand Hotel repectively I think?) Both places I started frequenting in my sixth form days!
Yes it used to be quite a nice little crawl round there - Angel, Horse and Groom, Four Bars Inn (now Dempseys), Green Parrot, City Arms. Also the moumentally awful Fat Sams Grand Slam Bar at the Holiday Inn....!
Most of the interior of the Park Vaults pub (under the Parc Hotel) is currently in a skip outside the building. I guess that's moving on then...
Apparently the Giovanis story is a little bit of a publicity stunt, and they are not leaving the venue at all. Instead they are going to open it up as more of a bistro type place, different name, but still run by Giovanis.
Mill Lane has had 5 stabbings in the last 4 weeks. The police are keen to clean up all the clubs around that way before SD2 kicks in and the new eateries open in the library (thats Autumn this year isn't it???). I think the trouble spot is Iota. The police want rid of all RnB nights on Mill Lane, and Iota is now the only one left.
Looks like the owners of Lava Lounge in the brewery quarter are in trouble. I can't see the venue itself being threatened as it's always full of drunken desperate thirtysomethings on a Friday and Saturday.
Champers on St Mary's Street is being redeveloped:
the varsity on richmond road seems to be going ahead. now sign outside saying they are recruiting staff.
When I started this thread in Jan of this year one of the new things making think to start it was the newly opened Swell Bar on Windsor Place. We'll looking at it now, it might have closed down. The signage has gone and the building is being painted a different colour.
Could just be a re-branding of course...
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