Cwmcarn Hotel adds new string to its bow as it opens restaurant to complement its bar, bands and bunks.
What can be better than going to a gig then nipping down the road for a curry? Well how about having a meal and a gig all in one place?
And we aint talking about any bland cabaret and chicken in a basket here, we are talking the coolest pub in the south wales valleys.
The Cwmcarn hotel has been getting people to sit up and pay attention for a couple of years now, since it was taken over by current owners Vinny and Anja Franco.
They don’t just put on bands out the backroom. They put on some of the coolest bands wales has to offer, and are growing an organically funky vibe that you can’t manufacture by just chucking a band on a stage. We can’t really tell you what the recipe for their success is, it’s just one of those untouchable undefinable magic touches that comes naturally when you have people who have a real passion for music and a love for life organising things. Like a secret sauce.
And no doubt there will be plenty of secret sauces being unleashed in the months to come, with the opening of The Fork ‘n Tune restaurant.
The culmination of months of work, Fork ‘n Tune puts Vinny and Anja’s dreams on a plate – with a little bit of help from Chef Rabbit.
With fellow traveller Benji Webbe (Dub War/Skindread) doing the honours, cutting the ribbon, the venue officially opened on Thursday 4th July.
The restaurant filled up almost immediately with friends, family and locals. Many had travelled to be at the event with Cardiff, Newport, The Rhondda and Blackwood well represented alongside those that are lucky enough to be able to walk to the venue (and no doubt walk home slightly wobbly)
The atmosphere was relaxed and informal as staff and diners got used to the way things will work in the months and years to come.
For the opening night, three dishes were on offer, Chilly Cwmcarni (Veggie or meat versions) and a Vegan Curry
We got stuck into the veggie options and were well impressed. The succulent juicy fruity Mango and Pineapple Curry was, like a rave in the mouth with everyone invited. We later found out it was the handiwork of Vinny himself – not just a pub landlord but also DJ and Chef.
So much for the fork, what about the tunes? Stephen Lewis and the Big Band of Fun, all the way from Canada, were on hand to keep diners toes tapping. They had come direct from performing at Glastonbury and were availing themselves of the Bunks in the venue for the night.
As well as a packed restaurant, busy bar and lively band performance, there was also a laid back party atmosphere in the beer garden. The Hotel has very quickly become not just a place to catch live music (Regime, Captain Accident and the Disasters, Junior Bill, The Bleeding Noses and Last tree Squad – just a few of the bands that have graced the stage) but it has also become the place for switched on groovers to just hang out.
And now they can get themselves fed while they are at it.
Cwmcarn Hotel has raised the bar and proven that the welcome in the hillsides can be funky. May the vibe spread far and wide.
*Check out Vinny’s (AKA DJ Chiska’s) guest appearance on the Peppermint Iguana Radio Show