The Alchemist Cardiff – Pure alchemy
Following a £1.6 million investment and a truly magical transformation, The Alchemist’s first Welsh venue on St Mary Street, Cardiff, spans an impressive 6,500 sq. ft.
The Alchemist is renowned for not only its theatrical drinks and delicious food, but its iconic décor and the new venue elevates what The Alchemist team describe as a ‘copper-cased wonderland’ look featuring dark and mysterious interiors, and gothic artworks.
The interior was designed by Macaulay Sinclair, with IUK as main contractors for the 12-week fit out.
Situated in A Grade II listed former NatWest bank building, the venue features dramatic 5m ceiling height spaces with a historic ceiling above mild steel and mesh rafts.
The ground floor contains the restaurant, bar and kitchen, with the basement floor incorporating customer toilets, back of house facilities and storage.
The building has a combined square footage of 8500, with 6500 square feet fitted out across both floors. In total, the bar and restaurant seat 189 covers – 97 in the bar, 70 in the dining room, and 22 in the outside area.
Interior design features include a palette of copper, brass, and mild steel, with dark oak flooring, peach and bronze mirrors, textured plasterwork, oak cabinetry and black oak match boarding to walls.
The spectacular bar is highlighted by a blackened steel geometric bar front with specialist brass finish bar top, and a steel and glass back bar with soffit.
The bespoke brass and amber lighting scheme adds a feeling of warmth and includes a recessed LED-lit geometric ceiling feature to the rear restaurant space.
Further design highlights include a copper wall to the kitchen pass and new large windows formed to increase daylight into rear spaces. Bespoke artwork, both framed and directly applied to walls, is featured throughout the interior. Bespoke metalwork is also much in evidence throughout the lobby, and on the front and back bar.
The project also included signage, outside lighting and menu box installation, as well as the creation of a fully removable and demountable terrace café space, including loose furniture, parasols and bespoke planters.
The building’s existing listed stonework façade to St Mary Street was fully refurbished and renovated to conservation standards by the landlord team.
Matt Pilling, interior designer at Macaulay Sinclair said: “The listed status of a building is always challenging, particularly the complex planning and CADW application processes, as well as unique challenges associated with fixing and sensitively working with a historic structure.
“It’s really exciting to see The Alchemist continuing to expand into new territories. Its first site in Wales is sure to make a big impact.”
John Macaulay, co-director at Macaulay Sinclair said: “We are really pleased to have designed our eleventh venue for The Alchemist, a brand which we are continually proud to work with. 2018 marks an exciting year of growth for The Alchemist and we’re delighted to be involved in their journey.”
Simon Potts, managing director of The Alchemist commented: “This is our first site outside of England – and we wanted our arrival in Cardiff to be memorable. With each opening we like to take it one step further and push the boundaries just that little bit more. The moment our guests approach the building they’ll be totally immersed in The Alchemist world we’ve created. It’s a really exciting time to be opening in Cardiff, and we hope our new guests love it as much as we do.”
Guests of the new site can enjoy The Alchemist’s famous food and drink menu, with memorable cocktails including ‘The Lightbulb Moment’, alongside nine new seasonal cocktails that have been recently released across all sites. Passionate in-house mixologists create every cocktail with an obsessive eye for detail, all orchestrated to serve a devilish dash of theatre.
Established in 2010, The Alchemist provides a memorable casual dining experience from breakfast through to dinner.
The new opening cements an already prosperous year for the brand, which has already seen an opening in Nottingham, and two new London locations secured.
The premium operator can be found across the UK including London, Manchester, Birmingham, Leeds, Newcastle, Chester, Oxford and Nottingham.
The Alchemist is backed by Palatine Private Equity, who supported a buy out from Living Ventures in 2015.
C & C Baseline
C & C Baseline is one of the UK’s leading fabrication companies, specialising in the manufacture and installation of architectural metalwork. The company delivers high quality, creative solutions nationwide, for projects that require brass, copper, zinc, mild steel and stainless steel metalwork.
C & C Baseline has been in operation since 1996 and within this time has delivered architectural metalwork for a range of national restaurant chains, including Nando’s, Wagamama, Gusto, San Carlo and Revolution to name but a few. Most recently, C & C Baseline has been involved with The Alchemist Cardiff, continuing the company’s long-running association with The Alchemist brand.
C & C Baseline Director, Mike Cooper, said: “We are proud to have been involved in every venue for The Alchemist nationwide. It give us the opportunity to create some unique pieces of work and provide some of the of the world’s best hospitality environments.”
“At C & C Baseline, we pride ourselves on our speedy service, our flexibility, our versatility, our quality and our value.”
Taylor’s Classics specialise in the design, manufacturing and restoration of furniture for the hospitality industry including pubs, restaurants, cafes and hotels. The firm’s collections include traditional and modern classics as well as reclaimed antique furniture. The company uses its expertise in antique restoration and manufacturing to supply new high quality furniture in a wide variety of styles to the hospitality sector.
Roger Belham, from Taylor’s Classics, commented:
“Cardiff is another wonderful venue for the Alchemist group. We are delighted that our furniture was specified and wish all the team every success for the future.”
“We pride ourselves in providing furniture of the highest quality and making life straightforward for our customers. We hope to help produce stunning interiors that will work for many years to come.”