First look inside new pub after PS550,000 makeover.
Byline: CHRIS PYKE Reporter firstname.lastname@example.org
A NEW pub is set to open in the heart of Cardiff within days, following a PS550,000 refurbishment.
And the new Brewhouse & Kitchen outlet - in Sophia Gardens - will mark a homecoming for the co-founder and CEO of the business.
Kris Gumbrell is "born and bred" Cardiff.
The 18th site for the brewpub chain is opening to the public on Monday following a massive refurbishment of Y Mochyn Du public house.
Kris said: "I grew up in Rumney, went to Rumney High School and then Colchester Avenue College to do hospitality management.
"I started in the trade at Earlswood Working Mens Club, I used to stick up the skittles, collect the glasses and then worked behind the bar."
He now lives in England, but still considers himself a proud Welshman.
For this reason some of the comments on social media about the company stripping away the Welshness of the Mochyn Du have hit a nerve.
Kris says the new outlet will still be a Welsh-speaking pub, like its predecessor.
"There are still the same number of Welsh speakers working now as there was before," he says.
"What we have introduced, which wasn't here before, is we have given all the team the opportunity to learn Welsh. We are also giving them an identifying marker on their uniform that says 'I am a Welsh speaker', so if someone prefers to speak Welsh they can. "That wasn't an option here before, you kind of muddled through."
Some people on social media this week highlighted a mistake on one of the menus, with Mochyn spelled "Mockyn". Kris says it was put together by a Welsh speaker, who lives in Cardiff, and was devastated by the error. The venue also faced criticism for describing beer brewed on the site as English-style bitter.
But Kris says this is simply the name of a style of session beer - often the top seller - in the same way there are Indian pale ales or American-style ales.
Meanwhile, Kris confirmed the company had been planning on a Cardiff venue for some time, and he had his eye on Y Mochyn Du given its great location.
"I knew that there was a lot of heritage around the language and I think we have worked really hard to achieve that," he said.
"We have done a huge amount to protect that. We have the choir coming back and they used to be resident. We have the Welsh language quiz relaunching and we have lessons as well on Mondays.
"From a community point of view it should be business as usual, but with a much better environment and much better beers."
Brewhouse & Kitchen CEO Kris Gumbrell at the chain's new pub at the former Y Mochyn Du in CardiffROB BROWNE