• Dragon Media

Iconic Cardiff venues at Guildford Crescent close their doors for good

Updated: Oct 24, 2019

Three independent business on Guildford Crescent on the edge of Cardiff City Centre have closed their doors for a final time despite a lengthy campaign to save them.

The owners of The Thai House, the Madeira Restaurant and Gwdihw music venue were under pressure, after the landlord decided to demolish the buildings and replace them with an unknown project.

A petition, called ‘Save Gwdihw (& Guildford Crescent)’, has gained over 20,000 signatures. 700 complaints have also been lodged with the Cardiff Council and the issue has even been discussed in Parliament.

The campaign to save Guildford Crescent culminated with a march through Cardiff City Center to raise awareness and send a very clear message- “Save Guildford Crescent”. The march was attended by over a thousand people and started at Womanby Street.

Daniel Minty organised the campaign. Pic: Billy Stillman.

Organiser, Daniel Minty, led the march and gave a speech outside the three venues. He introduced the owners of the venues to speak about what the closure would mean to them.

“The spirit and ethos of it will still be alive. Being community based will probably give them a bit more security.

“I wasn’t expecting this big a turnout, but to be honest with you, you can never predict anything in Cardiff. You can never predict the minds of the Cardiff people, and the people of South Wales. They will come. People will come if they believe that it’s right.

“Go and eat at independent restaurants. Go to live music at local independent music venues. Find your next favourite band.”

Several of Gwdihw’s performers in the past have decided to support and speak up about the venue’s closure and its future. Dragon Radio DJ, James Prendergast, who managed events at Gwdihw in the past, said, “It came out of nowhere really, it was a big shock. There isn’t many venues in Cardiff like it.

Labour MP Jo Stevens also attended, giving a speech about culture in Cardiff and how much Guildford Crescent means to the area. She said: “People come here because of all the indie businesses across our city center that are so important to our local economy, peoples jobs and to the future of our city and to the generations that will enjoy it.”

Councilor Huw Thomas met with the owner of the buildings, who agreed to postpone the demolition by three months. He said, “The Council is very aware of the public concern caused by the potential loss of the Madeira restaurant, The Thai House and the independent music venue Gwdihw and we are actively working with Gwdihw to help them relocate in the city if the need arises.

Despite everything, all three buildings have continued to close.

Thai House employees were given their redundancy letters after the march proved to be unsuccessful, despite the extra three months added to the tenancy.

The future of the three venues remains unclear. Although the Madeira has managed to be reborn as Ty Madeira in the heart of St Mary Street, neither the Thai House or Gwdihw have managed to find a suitable replacement.

-By George Foster (@Gepugg)