Challenging times ahead for Swansea bars as nightlife hub evolves
BAR owners in Swansea's Wind Street are having to adapt their businesses to survive.
Naz Shasha, who runs the Ice Bar and Retro bar in the adjoining St Mary Street, has warned Swansea Council the future of his business may be in doubt if he is not given permission to carry out necessary developments.
Mr Shasha has applied to the local authority for the chance to install a new covered area for people looking to smoke outside of the Retro bar and for permission for a temporary structure containing a music stage with standing beach area in front. And, according to a statement supporting the application, the level of business experienced by Retro over the past two years has continued to decline.
The document states: "Unless the applicant is allowed to pursue all avenues to secure his business and the employment his establishment provides there is a strong likelihood that the future prospects for Retro will be affected.
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"Unless Retro has a policy of adaptation to market conditions the possibility of business failure is enhanced.
"This opportunity for Retro is critical to its survival during these times of economic austerity."
News of the application comes as work is continuing to redevelop the former SoBar in Wind Street which is being refurbished by the team behind the Peppermint bar on the opposite side of the street.
The venue is owned by Enterprise Inns and will be a beach bar known as Bambu, employing around 50 staff.
Paul Cassar, former head chef at the Grape and Olive at Swansea's Meridian Tower, and his partner Emma Mason, have launched a steak house above Bar 22 in Wind Street.
Ms Mason said: "My partner had the idea a few years ago and has always wanted to run his own steak house."
Bar and restaurant owner Daniel Tercero, who is behind La Braseria, La Prensa and La Parrilla, is also preparing for the immanent opening of a gourmet burger bar on Wind Street.
Mr Tercero said: "Bars survive in quite a fluid market.
"What was seen as popular in the noughties might be seen as old hat now.
"I don't think it is anything to do with the economic downturn, I think it is just the natural cycle of the business.
"If there are more food-led places opening up in Wind Street it is almost becoming what was the initial vision for it to be an eating area."
Swansea Business Improvement District (Bid) chief executive Russell Greenslade said: "The Wind Street area plays an important part in the dynamic of the city centre due its unique offerings for all types of customer and helps join the daytime to the night time due to its wealth of offering.
"With the news that at least three new venues are due to open in this area soon clearly shows companies are keen to invest in the area due to its popularity with the public."