As I sit here writing this post, I can hear the repetitious thud of base from yet another anonymous dance song. The song is coming from a bar next door to my flat. With the bar in question going through a major change over the last few months. For those that don't know the bar it is known as Floyd's and until recently came with a clothing shop below that was open in the day.
The clothing store was recently victim to a fire and has since been closed with it only recently being cleared up. At first it seemed like they would expand the bar downstairs, however with a recent extension to a nearby clothes store also opening a cafe it seems like they may have changed their plans and decided to let it out instead (still vacant).
So this brings me back to the bar. With the bar now seeming to be the only source of income it has been re-branded and opened for longer. It still has the same name but as you can see the new mark has fallen into the standard generic black with metallic treatment. This 'shouty' type brand has also been continued to the new barriers outside the doorway and also the loud speaker which now pumps out their dance music (which as you may now have guessed the music is also brand new). So where am I going with this?
Well let's describe my first experience of Floyd's BAR. I was around 19 and I was with some friends from college and one of them suggested Floyd's BAR? I was intrigued because firstly I didn't know about it and I didn't know where it was. So we started walking down one of the main streets into one of business areas of town. We were by a doorway with a buzzer. Hair pricking up on the back of my neck by now we press the buzzer and are greeted by a voice saying hello and to come up. We walk up a narrow set of stairs and we are met with a small intimate bar with some tables and chairs. The lights are low and the music was mellow allowing us to talk. So the experience of exploring and finding a unique intimate bar made me feel part of something special and different. It has also led me to take great delight in introducing other people to the bar and it's experience.
So time will tell if the 'new' Floyd's is successful. But for me the experience has now been lost and changed forever. No more finding it, the speakers find you now and the secrecy and exclusivity has been lost. It seems to have lost it's story and also it's fundamental values.
NOTE: since I wrote this I have learnt that the café was rejected planning permission due to their saturation policy. Due to the café being on the same street as many other bars and clubs the plan was rejected. It seems also in the next few months there will be further pressure for empty shops within Cardiff as they will have to start paying rates even if unoccupied.