EJ Hales helps with acquisition of new Cardiff retro gaming bar Kongs

A Bristol-based gaming bar is the latest establishment to take over a formerly redundant site in Cardiff, following a property acquisition in the city centre.

Kongs, which currently operates out of its King Street venue in Bristol, has acquired the former Greene King venue on St Mary Street, which has been empty since 2014.

The 10,000 sq ft unit benefits from entrances onto Guildhall Place and St Mary Street.

The new bar, Kongs Cardiff, will use its popular trading format and high quality, quirky shop fit, after proving successful in its current location.

The venue will include ping pong tables, arcade games from the 80s and 90s, including Donkey Kong, Street Fighter 2 and Pac Man, along with table foosball. Additionally, the operation will bring 15 new jobs into the area.

Max Pioli, Co-Founder of Tivoli Inns, owner of the Kongs brand, said: “Following our opening in Bristol, Cardiff was always going to be our next target location.  We thought long and hard about where best to locate, and are delighted with our decision to take our venue to The Castle Quarter.

“The area is already attractive to many, with tourists, and local media, foodie and arts fans visiting the independent venues and craft breweries nearby. We are confident that this is the correct location for Kongs Cardiff.

“We are well underway with our re-fit of the unit, and as we hoped, we are finding fantastic old features. These will be kept and enhanced as part of the relaxed, inclusive environment we seek to create.”

Commercial property specialist EJ Hales acted for Kongs in acquiring the venue.

Phil Morris, partner at EJ Hales, said: “As soon as we understood the nature of this requirement, we felt a unit within the Westgate and St Mary Street area would be ideal.  This section of Cardiff, which is now being promoted as The Castle Quarter, is proving a highly sought after location. It is a popular choice, particularly for operators with more alternative, independent brands.

“Kongs will fit in well with other recent openings in the area, including Chai Street, Bar 44, Small Bar and Tiny Rebel.”

The precise commercial terms of the transaction remain confidential, but it is understood that Kongs has taken a sub-lease from Greene King, which has an historical interest in the building.

The Kongs deal follows a string of new openings facilitated by EJ Hales, including London-based cocktail bar Dirty Martini on St Mary Street, Small Bar, the independent brewer from Bristol, which has opened on Church Street, and Indian street food café Chai Street’s on High Street.