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New ‘Gin & Bake’ cafe opens in Cardiff Bay

Credit: Matthew Horwood

Schroder UK Real Estate Fund (‘SREF’) has signed a deal to bring Coffi Co’s ‘Gin & Bake’ concept to Mermaid Quay, a popular 150,000 sq ft mixed-use destination on Cardiff Bay’s waterfront.

With lockdown restrictions in Wales beginning to be relaxed, work has already started on fitting out the 4,157 sq ft waterfront unit – previously occupied by Carluccio’s – which also features a 732 sq ft external seating area.

‘Gin & Bake’. Credit: Matthew Horwood

Gin & Bake Mermaid Quay opened for takeaway afternoon tea picnic boxes and freshly baked cakes alongside takeaway gins and alcohol from the bar, on Saturday 4 July 2020.  All takeaway items must be ordered via Coffi Co’s special Click & Collect App, under the location ‘Gin and Bake.

A seated area in the live bakery and in the secret gin garden will follow as soon as Covid-19 restrictions allow.  All tables will need to be pre-booked online and each booking will come with a two-hour limit per table.  There will be three sittings for afternoon tea at 11am, 1pm and 3pm. A variety of teas will be available – Traditional, Sparkling Prosecco and Gin “G” & Tea.

Gin & Bake is the brainchild of local entrepreneur Justin Carty, who is behind the highly successful regional café chain Coffi Co which already has a stunning venue on Mermaid Quay’s pier.

Coffi Co has been trading from all its outlets during lockdown via its App with a home delivery service available from four outlets (including Gin & Bake).  On this basis, Coffi Co was also able to open its sixth outlet in Penarth in April despite Covid-19 restrictions.

Once lockdown restrictions lift, Gin & Bake will be open daily and provide breakfast, afternoon teas and a freshly baked cake selection alongside a large selection of gins and other beverages.

Members of the public can register their interest and pre-book now via email at [email protected]

Justin Carty, Managing Director, Coffi Co, commented:

“We are very excited to expand our Coffi Co business and introduce our new Gin & Bake venue. We are bringing something new and very different to Mermaid Quay with our live bakery and new gin garden.  

“We are focused on building a business that combines the key ingredients of a great leisure driven location, welcoming atmosphere and the very best coffee, freshly baked cakes and of course gin!  We’re keen to continue with our growth strategy by focusing on continually improving and expanding our offer in new and exiting leisure driven locations across South Wales.”

Harry Pickering, SREF’s Head of UK Retail, commented:

Gin & Bake is sure to prove a popular draw at Mermaid Quay.  We have always sought to have a number of strong local offers in the tenant line up at Mermaid Quay, complementing the national brands. 

“Coffi Co has provided such a business, starting as a temporary occupier and quickly moving to a longer-term lease and we are very excited by the new Gin & Bake concept.   As we now start to move forward, we would love to see more local operators coming to Mermaid Quay to trial the location with pop-up and/or flexible options and would encourage anyone interested to get in touch with our agents Savills and Smith Price RRG.”

SREF is implementing a multi-million-pound repositioning plan at Mermaid Quay. The strategy has already seen the creation of a five-screen Everyman Cinema (opened December 2019), the introduction of new restaurants – such as The Cosy Club (opened Spring 2019) and Hubbox (due to open later this year) – and aesthetic improvements to the buildings.

Future plans include the extension of the car park, the revitalisation of the public realm and the creation of a stylish new landscaped public space in the heart of the scheme, together with the introduction of further leisure uses and exciting new Food and Beverage brands.