Today (Friday 4th February 2011) Brains re-opened the doors on a newly refurbished Yard Bar and Kitchen. And on the day Wales take on England in Cardiff, staff are bracing themselves for a extremely busy opening day.
Philip Lay, Retail Director at Brains said: "When we launched the Yard we wanted to set it apart from other venues in the city centre and I think we absolutely achieved that. This refurbishment has been about once again creating something dynamic and different.
"It sits on the site of our former brewery, which played a central part in Cardiff life for generations, so we were keen to retain much of its old charm. The old brewery heritage and industrial feel is still present but there’s also something of an old style club elegance in the leather seating and framed prints of Samuel Arthur and Joseph Benjamin Brain."
The designer, Tim Rice, explains: "I wanted to create a bar that has a little something for everyone. From the chandeliers made from old gramophone speakers to the neon lights and the vintage telephones to the deep shag pile carpets."
The three high-impact stainless steel bars remain, but behind one sits an oversize antique sideboard with neon stars shining out of the top. A VIP area on the first floor is a new addition and customers can hire out the area, complete with tables with built in ice buckets for champagne.
An express canteen style food offer is available between 12 – 5pm and includes old school classics like sausage and mash, chicken and chips and apple crumble. After 5pm there the menu switches to a ‘little Yard plates’ and supper offer.
The Yard stands on the site of the original Old Brewery, which dates back to 1713, making it a unique and iconic venue. The front of the building was once the Albert, famous for years as Brains' own "Brewery Tap", the washrooms are located in the original cellars, while the outdoor space is the original yard where casks were loaded onto horse-drawn drays. The venue can accommodate 850 customers over several split levels.