It’s success at the double, with two new stylish new venues opening in Cardiff city centre for upmarket continental style espresso coffee shop Artigiano, which transforms into a wine bar in the evenings.
One of the new venues is located in Queen Street, on the main shopping high street, whilst the other is located on Working Street near St John’s Church.
The project to design the new venues was carried out by Julian Taylor Design Associates, with Coccion Construction as the main contractors, who were highly commended for their work.
Artigiano has received recommendations in national magazines for the quality of their coffee and their head Barista represented the UK in the 2014 World Latte Art Championships in Melbourne, Australia.
During the day Artigiano offer a variety of freshly made artisan food, including baguettes, sandwiches, wraps, tarts, salads and other savories, cakes and pastries.
In the evening the venue undergoes a number of changes to transform from an espresso bar into a trendy wine bar, focusing on some of the more boutique producers.
In addition, Artigiano has created an extensive range of some of the world’s best craft beers, with over 25 to choose from in draught or bottle from, as well as a host of cocktails and spirits including the bar’s signature Espresso Martini.
Both of the Cardiff sites had been vacant for a period of time, with some temporary retailers taking up occupation over the Christmas period.
When Artigiano took over the units, they were both virtually empty white boxes internally, so the designers had a blank canvas to work from.
The transformation was dramatic. “Coccion Construction have done a fantastic job. The attention to detail and dedication from their entire team has been outstanding, delivering both sites on time and to a high level of finish,” said Polly McCue of Julian Taylor Design Associates.
New services were installed throughout, including those required for the main Servery and Barista Bar within the shop floor of each venue.
New toilet facilities and back of house preparation areas were installed, in addition to a remote kitchen. In each location, the designers worked with the existing shopfront, but created a new entrance lobby at Queen Street to allow for entrance doors to be fitted.
At each venue, the main bar area serves customers with food and drink and a separate Barista Bar prepares the freshly made coffee. In the evenings, the Barista Bar doubles up as a cocktail bar and serves craft beers, cocktails and fine wines. Bread is freshly baked daily in the remote kitchen and the artisan menu offers great sharing food and lunch time snacks. A variety of seating arrangements have been designed to cater for groups and couples, with both ‘poseur’ height and more relaxing lounge style seating.
Double power sockets at each table allow customers to plug in and connect as required, and free Wi-Fi access is also provided.
At the Queen Street venue, the works involved opening up the first floor and fitting new stairs from the main entrance to take full advantage of the large double height space to the front of the site. To maximise the impact of this space, a branded barrel and wine bottle display extends to full height, and is designed to capture attention on arrival. On the wall opposite, a huge graphic image depicts the worldwide locations where Artigiano products are sourced.
The project presented a number of challenges, says Polly McCue: “There were some challenges in moving services to where they were required, with Working Street proving a little more difficult in this respect. But once we overcame this, the rest of the project came together fairly quickly.
“One of the features that separates Artigiano from the competitor coffee shops is the day and night offer, with the Espresso Bar transforming into a trendy wine bar. We needed to ensure that the design worked during the day as well as at night, with the transformation being easy, exciting and enticing.
“The Cardiff sites were the second and third locations we have worked on with Artigiano, and we are really pleased with how they have turned out. The next sites are already underway, and the Cardiff project has helped to establish the relationship and trust we share with our client.”