Brazilian eatery to open its doors.
SOUTH American party fever came to Cardiff today as Wales' first Brazilian restaurant opened for business. The "passadors" - or waiters - were ready to serve as Viva Brazil Cardiff welcomed its first customers at 11.30am.
An invitation-only event was held at the Churrascaria, or Brazilian steakhouse, on the ground floor of the Maldron Hotel in St Mary Street, last night, but today everyone could experience authentic Brazilian-style dining.
The experience begins as a troop of passadors, or meat servers, move from table to table, offering more than 15 cuts of beef, lamb, pork, chicken and sausages, all slow roasted over a charcoal barbecue and carved at the table.
The Cardiff restaurant is the latest in the Viva Brazil chain to open its doors and demonstrates confidence in the economic future of the capital as its strives to expand and become a leading European city.
The first Viva Brazil opened in Liverpool in September 2010, followed by Viva Brazil Glasgow in autumn last year.
Duty manager Rui Rodrigues said: "It's a very exciting time for us and Cardiff. It's looking amazing.
"Cardiff is a great city and it's a good time to be opening for business."
The restaurant, which the company opened after securing a PS375,000 funding deal from Santander Corporate Banking, backed by the Government's Enterprise Finance Guarantee, has created 30 new jobs. The company plans to open seven more restaurants around the UK.
Andy Aldrich, managing director of Viva Brazil, said: "Expanding into Wales with the opening of the Cardiff restaurant is a key milestone for us.
"After the success in Liverpool and Glasgow, Cardiff is an ideal next step.
"Santander Corporate Banking has supported us right from the first restaurant and they're continuing to offer that support as we expand and grow."
Phillip Roscoe, relationship director at Santander Corporate Banking, said: "It seems like a city where people know how to have fun and that fits our concept perfectly.
"Cardiff is an amazing, forward-thinking city and this is something which we want to be part of. The city does not have anything like what we have to offer and that is the reason we have chosen to invest in the area."
Paula Santos had traffic stopping and heads turning as she took Samba fever on to the streets of the city to get everyone into the Brazilian spirit ahead of the launch of Viva Brazil