Locke & Remedy is a brand new bar based in Cardiff’s grade II listed old library building on Trinity street. Though The Cardiff Story museum has done a great job of keeping half of this gorgeous building alive, it desperately needed someone to take on the rest and make it something special, and I’m pleased to say that these guys have done a cracking job.
Visitors to the newly refurbished half will find that the walls have been painted a wonderful dark teal-grey, the floor is clad in polished planks and black and white tiles, the furniture is all soft leather, cold steel and dark wood. It’s how I would love my house to look – chic, modern and expensive. Although it is owned by parent company Marstons, it isn’t part of a ‘chain’ of similarly styled bars; it feels really unique.
The food menu focuses on two things done well; juicy fat burgers and thin, stone-baked pizzas cooked to order in their front-of-house pizza oven. Though I’ve not tried the pizza, I did try the veggie burger; a deep-fried, panko-breadcrumbed Portobello mushroom served with sticky red onions, blue cheese sauce, tarragon mayo, and (because we all need to eat our greens) some little gem lettuce 😉 It is by far the best veggie burger in Cardiff – an upgrade of a similar offering which I loved from Shake Shack in America. It feels as dirty, tasty and satisfying as any beef burger, I promise!
The drinks menu includes a dangerously drinkable sauvignon blanc (served in stemless wine glasses, which I love), a hilariously named craft ale called Boondoggle from the Ringwood Brewery, and a selection of potent cocktails – basically, there’s something for everyone here.
Much as it would have been lovely to have had an independent business move in to the old library, it’s very unlikely that they’d have had the budget to do such a great job on the refurb, and in this instance, I’m glad that a company with a kick ass design team and a healthy bank balance have taken the reigns. Before they moved in, half of this lovely building was empty, and before that, it was home to a cheap and tired ‘sports bar’ operation serving crap food and cheap beer. Now it looks how it should – fabulous.
If the great food, interior and cocktails hadn’t won me over, Locke & Remedy’s final flourish on opening night sealed the deal for me. In a nod to the building’s heritage as Cardiff’s old library, guests were handed a second-hand paperback as they left the launch party, and inside was tucked a bookmark gift voucher for a free bowl of fries on their next visit. I’ve been back four times since!