Of all the recent and upcoming bar openings in Cardiff there’s one that I’ve been following with close interest. It’s not BrewDog, which is due to open on Westgate around April. It’s good that Cardiff is finally getting a BrewDog, a vindication of Cardiff’s rising status as a city for beer, but if you’ve seen one BrewDog bar then you’ve seen them all, and I’ve already been to quite a few.
It’s the Gravity Station, opening in the centre of Cardiff, that’s caught my eye. Since I heard about it almost a year ago I’ve been urging on the new Waen Brewery bar to hurry up and open. I won’t dwell on the series of delays they’ve suffered over the months, we’re past that now. Instead we can look forward to a very imminent opening. It might be this week, or the next, or the week after, but there’s a constant sound of hammering coming from Barrack Lane that reassures me that the Gravity Station is very nearly a thing.
So what’s the deal? The new bar will occupy a shop unit on Barrack Lane, a single room that wasn’t exactly spacious before they put in the toilet, bar and massive table. It seems the snug environment is something the Gravity Station will use to it’s advantage in terms of encouraging open conversation between strangers across the gorgeous copper table.
Interestingly, and quite by happy accident, the Gravity Station fits the profile of a micro pub. No food, no TV, no music, no games machines – just a small, one-room bar designed to get right down to the heart of the matter – beer and people.
Perhaps more importantly, in a city centre that lacks a decent beer shop, the tiny Gravity Station is going to seem like a beer giant thanks to its take-home options. Alongside bottles-to-go, you’ll also be able to buy whatever is flowing from cask and keg to take away with you.
A new bar in the Welsh capital doing something that promises to be different from the other bars is definitely exciting, and with the likes of Urban Tap House, City Arms, Zerodegrees and BrewDog nearby that’s no small achievement.
It will be interesting to see how well the Gravity Station does in the sense of being a micropub. That it fell into that category by accident rather than design is very telling of the potential shape of things to come – if successful, the Gravity Station could be held up as the blueprint for a whole wave of such small pubs across Cardiff and Wales.
For more pictures and up to date information on the progress of the Gravity Station, follow them on Twitter @TheGravityStn and Facebook