Dempsey's, Cardiff is closing :(

Rather sad about this as it hosted Twisted By Design (which was probably my favourite Cardiff night out when I used to live there). Hoping that it will find a new home :frowning:

[details=Here is the body of the article as the Wales Online site is an ad-filled hellhole]
One of Cardiff’s most famous pubs is set to close next month.

Dempseys, which is owned by Brains and is opposite Cardiff Castle, will close on February 12.

The company has said that the venue will undergo “a substantial redevelopment” and that the welfare of their staff is “a priority”.

But manager Kathryn Luxton wrote on social media: "It’s with a heavy, heavy heart to inform you all that Dempseys will be closing its doors for the final time on the 12th of February.

"The brewery have decided to close and re-open sometime in the late spring/early summer under new management and a new name.

"As a family (including staff) we are utterly devastated by this crushing news. Dempseys has been my home for the best part of ten years and obviously my job.

"I can share with you now, speaking on behalf of myself, I’ve loved this wonderful place with all my heart. Staff past and present have all meant the world to me and my family. So much so you’ve all felt like children to me.

"Customers/friends, you’ve all been just the best I could have hoped for on this journey.

"RIP Dempseys. We will miss you more than you know of a crazy weekend.

“I’m only sorry any corporate fools didn’t love you just the same as us and see just how special you are to everyone as the ‘go to place’ xxxxx”

In a detailed statement from Brains, a spokesman said: "We can confirm Dempseys bar on Castle Street in Cardiff city centre will close next month ahead of a substantial redevelopment of the venue.

"As with any redevelopment, the welfare of our staff team is a priority as we are fully aware of the potential for personal impact.

"We have begun consulting with our team on the likely future of the business and any professional impact arising from it. Our intention and hope is that we will be able to provide other employment opportunities for the current team employed at Dempseys.

"The need for improvement and modernisation of Dempseys has been apparent for some time and as a company Brains has sought to ensure that our city centre businesses remain relevant to the ever-evolving needs of the Cardiff consumer.

"The £215K development of Kitty Flynns into the Cambrian Tap and the £1.2m investment in The Dock in Cardiff Bay are examples of our commitment to an improvement agenda with both businesses being more widely used than had previously been the case.

“Across these two developments alone, an additional 35 jobs have been created.”

The upstairs area known as Four Bars is known for being one of the city’s best live music venues.

Bands that have played there include Kids in Glass Houses, The Drums, Catfish and the Bottlemen, Alt-J and The Vaccines. It is also a host pub for the Swn Festival, the annual music festival held in the city.


You will have to do your best to Make Peace with this situation, I guess. :frowning2:



Sorry. Sorry.

But how often do you get the chance to break out a Dempsey & Makepeace joke? NEVER.

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All very well, but I still have to do this:


Remember looking at the twisted by design posters/flyers wistfull when I was at Cardiff uni, always wanted to go but didn’t know anyone

I went regularly in 2001-2002 before I moved away. I’m still friends with the guy who runs it, who’s obviously gutted. It was always such a fun night.

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I did go once, the place became underseige as football fans smashed up the downstairs of the pub and could see loads of horse backed riot police out of the upstairs window

A real shame, a bit of a shithole and terrible toilets but had some great nights there.

Sad news indeed. Twisted By Design was/is legendary.

Hopefully Brains do something decent with it, but seeing what they did with Cardiff Arts Institute doesn’t fill me with hope.

My last ever night in Cardiff was there. We danced to Andrew WK and there was a lot of hugging.

Real shame. Saw some great gigs there as part of Swn Festival, in particular Bo Ningen 3 or 4 years back, and Plastic Mermaids last year.

This is really bad news - haven’t been there in ages but I loved Dempseys and used to go there loads, so much history to the place. I do not trust Brains to redevelop it appropriately.

Gary once played a song by my old band there because we have him a CD while he was DJing, which I thought was pretty awesome of him (and unrealistically trusting as we were not very good).

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Gary is just the nicest guy too. And attentive to a tee: I remember going back there about six years after we left Cardiff, and he saw me and dug out the two or three songs that my friends and I always used to dance to.

I’d imagine that Brains will transform the pub into some blandcore gastropub … I just hope that Twisted finds a new home.

He’s exactly the kind of person all music scenes really need, totally devoted to making people feel included. The fact that there has been music at Dempseys for so long, and that this could be the end of it, is such a massive loss - it was one of Cardiff’s key jazz venues in the mid-20th century and the played host to pretty much everything since.

I think that because it’s not such a big hitter as Clwb, or even the re-born Moon, people don’t see it as so essential, but it’s one of those proper up-and-coming local sweatboxes that cities need.

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Interesting facts:

  • The first time I ever had someone pinch my bum was in Dempsey’s
  • I waited bar in there, but never picked up my final shift’s pay
  • I was mates with the Twisted crew at uni.

Not really important for a while, but Cardiff’s out on its feet atm as far as live music goes, so this is undoubtedly a really sad thing.

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There’s still The Moon/Full Moon, Clwb Ifor Bach, Undertone, Gwdihw, Fuel and 10 Feet Tall, and that’s just the smaller places in town. You’ve also got the bigger venues like The Globe, Solas, Tramshed and Motorpoint.

It’s definitely a shame about Dempseys, but Cardiff still has more live music venues than most UK cities I’ve been to.


Yeah you’re right, I was being a grump.

I’m sorry for Cardiff but don’t call me Dempsey

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