Bruce Springsteen is playing at the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff. Over the road, an American flag flutters from the flagpole outside Fire Island: the perfect hook to lure in thirsty fans of ‘the Boss’ and pack out the craft beer bar. Try the door, though, and you’ll find it locked. Peer in through the windows and you’ll see the lights are on, but no one is home. Fire Island has closed.
Initial reports indicate that Beatbox, the company that owns Fire Island, has gone into Administration. 10 Feet Tall and Buffalo Bar, two equally popular bars in the same chain, remain open. Given that Sue Hayward of the Waen Brewery, a regular supplier of Fire Island, states she hasn’t been paid for stock provided, it isn’t looking good at this stage.
It has happened so fast that I’m left stunned. I was there on Sunday, drinking with a friend. It’s a similar reaction to hearing about the death of an acquaintance… ‘but I just saw him last week and he looked fine!’
How and why this has happened is unclear, and may never be revealed. It had the same quiet moments as any other pub in these times, but certainly enjoyed roaring trade when it should have done – during weekends, Thursday and Friday evenings, and when games or events were on at the Stadium. It was well situated, well staffed, and had decent enough food. It wasn’t perfect, but it was different enough to be noticed, and their apparent flaws weren’t so bad as to cause them to go under. So what happened? Or is this a broader problem across the chain? If so, why is only Fire Island affected at this time?
If anyone knows anything, please get in touch. Also, if anyone knows anything about the staff, I’d like to know. I’m upset that I’ve lost one of my favourite watering holes but the people at Fire Island were always decent and I’d be more upset if they’re all out of work right now.