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Bar News

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Ash

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Re: Bar News

PostWed Dec 23, 2020 10:55 pm

I don't disagree with a word of that. It's still a sad moment in a sad year though.
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dazplott

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Re: Bar News

PostTue Jan 05, 2021 6:17 pm

Looks like the Brains brewery is also going to close
https://www.itv.com/news/2021-01-04/exc ... dundancies
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Kyle

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Re: Bar News

PostWed Jan 06, 2021 9:58 am

dazplott wrote:Looks like the Brains brewery is also going to close
https://www.itv.com/news/2021-01-04/exc ... dundancies


That is very sad
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DaiB

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Re: Bar News

PostWed Jan 06, 2021 4:26 pm

It's extremely sad to lose an institution like this, and tragic for those who will lose their jobs. I hope they can be saved. Having said that, I can't help feeling that the writing had been on the wall for Brains for some time. Their beer has been sub-par for years, so their dominance over the pub scene in Cardiff along with a general intolerance of selling other products alongside their own has meant they've failed to capitalise on the resurgence in popularity of real ale. Add in their rather cynical and generally poor quality 'craft beer' offshoot and you have a company whose core product is not well liked or respected by the younger and more discerning drinkers who make up an increasing portion of the ale market. They've become an odd combination of a small local brewery which behaves like a dull and dictatorial national pub-co. I genuinely don't know anyone who particularly likes their beer or who thinks of them as a good pub operator or landlord. Shame to lose the institution and the tradition, but it may not turn out to be terrible news for Cardiff drinkers.
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Karl

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Re: Bar News

PostWed Jan 06, 2021 9:08 pm

I have to say I agree. Brains seemed to have lost the plot a few years ago. Some of the pubs where they have embraced the beer revolution, such as the City Arms, have been really successful but too often walking into a Brains pub is like walking into the 1980's.

Their craft beer offering always seemed half hearted and a cynical attempt to jump on a bandwagon. The food offering is really mediocre and often overpriced. Take a pub like the Ty Mawr in Lisvane. Situated in a two hundred year old farmhouse, extensive grounds with views to the Bristol Channel and beyond, room to expand and offer overnight stays. Get a good chef in and it could have been a destination restaurant with rooms plus a decent local pub. Instead it turned out poor quality pub grub at restaurant prices with an interior decked out in that odd Brains cookie cutter house style that seems to rob any space of atmosphere. The same sepia photo's of old Cardiff on the walls, same beers on draught, a bit of plush wood here and there, a couple of dado rails etc etc. That may work in the Cottage, a 19th century city centre boozer, but they just seemed to try and replicate it everywhere.

Other pubs they have completely abandoned like the Roath Park, Wolfs Castle, etc that have had no investment. I'm not sure what the management have been up to but they have pretty much trashed an iconic Cardiff institution. The real acid test is that whilst people have expressed sadness that its come to this no one that I know is up in arms, no-one is devastated that Brains will effectively be hollowed out until its a meaningless pub co brand name like O'Neills or Yates et al. I think the writing has been on the wall for a long time with Covid coming as a handy excuse to cover up the significant shortcomings of how the business has been managed over the last 20 years or so.
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Msmurf

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Re: Bar News

PostThu Jan 07, 2021 5:09 am

Karl wrote:I have to say I agree. Brains seemed to have lost the plot a few years ago. Some of the pubs where they have embraced the beer revolution, such as the City Arms, have been really successful but too often walking into a Brains pub is like walking into the 1980's.

Their craft beer offering always seemed half hearted and a cynical attempt to jump on a bandwagon. The food offering is really mediocre and often overpriced. Take a pub like the Ty Mawr in Lisvane. Situated in a two hundred year old farmhouse, extensive grounds with views to the Bristol Channel and beyond, room to expand and offer overnight stays. Get a good chef in and it could have been a destination restaurant with rooms plus a decent local pub. Instead it turned out poor quality pub grub at restaurant prices with an interior decked out in that odd Brains cookie cutter house style that seems to rob any space of atmosphere. The same sepia photo's of old Cardiff on the walls, same beers on draught, a bit of plush wood here and there, a couple of dado rails etc etc. That may work in the Cottage, a 19th century city centre boozer, but they just seemed to try and replicate it everywhere.

Other pubs they have completely abandoned like the Roath Park, Wolfs Castle, etc that have had no investment. I'm not sure what the management have been up to but they have pretty much trashed an iconic Cardiff institution. The real acid test is that whilst people have expressed sadness that its come to this no one that I know is up in arms, no-one is devastated that Brains will effectively be hollowed out until its a meaningless pub co brand name like O'Neills or Yates et al. I think the writing has been on the wall for a long time with Covid coming as a handy excuse to cover up the significant shortcomings of how the business has been managed over the last 20 years or so.


Too true unfortunately....
Build it and they will come.
Get it wrong and they will fall off.
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Ash

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Re: Bar News

PostThu Jan 07, 2021 5:46 pm

Brains have certainly made some odd business decisions over the years, the move from the old brewery to a site that was far too large for them being the obvious one. Once the contract to brew for S&N was lost Crawshay Street was something of an albatross around their necks.

Similarly the decision to invest heavily in Coffee #1 only to sell it off after a few years seemed short-sighted while sitting on empty properties like the Westgate for years was just bizarre.

Part of the problem may have laid in how diffuse the family shareholding had become. I remember seeing the register at the time Simon Buckley was attempting a hostile takeover in the 1990s and there were literally hundreds of shareholders, all no doubt expecting an annual dividend and with no way of trading their shares other than to sell them back to the company.

All may not be lost though. Rather than selling Crawshay Street to Rightacres outright my understanding is that the two companies have a 50:50 interest in the Central Quay scheme. One suspects that that's what's behind the talk about the need to recapatalise the company and that some sort of craft brewing operation may be included in the CQ plans.
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jones4891

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Re: Bar News

PostMon Mar 15, 2021 1:52 am

Does anyone else feel like Swansea is stealing a march on Cardiff in the live music scene?

3 new good sized venues opening there in the next year or two, while places in Cardiff seem to be under threat or shutting down.

Thoughts?

https://www.walesonline.co.uk/whats-on/ ... n-20112141
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Ash

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Re: Bar News

PostMon Mar 15, 2021 11:43 am

Cities like Swansea with large numbers of vacant properties available to buy or rent cheaply are ideal for live music venues. Think 1960s Liverpool or 1980s Manchester.

The problem comes when property prices begin to increase and put the squeeze on venues. That's what's happening in Cardiff at the moment which is why having a live music strategy is so important.
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Amoore

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Re: Bar News

PostThu Apr 08, 2021 11:39 am

A premises licence application has gone in for 18 Churchill Way, which I am assuming is this:

https://www.walesonline.co.uk/whats-on/ ... y-19889374
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