In line with the fast growing casual dining market across the UK, Cardiff continues to attract high quality restaurant operators. Recent announcements include the proposed opening of Turtle Bay, a Caribbean themed restaurant in St Mary Street, Marco Pierre White’s Steakhouse Bar & Grill above the Hotel Indigo in the former Dominions House and Five Guys a US burger restaurant in the Brewery Quarter.
Further evidence of the buoyancy of the sector within the City is the opening by national chains of second units such as Cote in Mill Lane and Bills and Carluccio’s in Cardiff Bay.
Peter Constantine, Regional Senior Director at the Cardiff office of leading commercial property adviser Bilfinger GVA observes, “The focus on growth through expansion has impacted on rental levels which have risen strongly as a result of competition and where once £20 – £25 per square foot was the norm it is not unusual to see rents as high as mid £30’s being achieved.
“We are aware of several chains actively seeking sites within the city centre, for instance Brasserie Blanc has been looking for a suitable site for a number of years in which to establish their very successful premium casual dining offer.”
He continues, “A number of other London based restaurant businesses are thought to be looking at Cardiff given the vibrancy of the city. Gaucho Grill and Hawksmoor, both high-end steak restaurants, are the type of high-end operators who would further enhance the city’s restaurant scene.”
The growth in the restaurant sector has spread beyond Cardiff with Prezzo, Pizza Express, Harvester and Toby Carvery all trading as far west as Carmarthen.
Peter concludes, “Some commentators have questioned whether the casual dining sector is in danger of reaching saturation point but it would appear that the operators and investors backing them have confidence in their brands, a confidence that only comes from successful trading.”