A hugely popular South Wales restaurant attracting diners from across the UK is branching out into Merthyr Tydfil.
The Mine at CF47 & Castelany's Fine Dining will also help the local economy by creating 25 jobs, the majority of them local people taken on through the Council’s employability team working with Tydfil Training to interview and recruit people.
The original restaurant in Cwmgwrach near Glynneath is fully booked for the next two months. The décor is colliery-themed – of course – with large cable reels as tables, dishes served on shovels, toilets called ‘The Pits', sheet metal wall decorations and a miners' memory wall, where customers hang pictures of their ancestors who worked in the mines.
The Merthyr Tydfil restaurant is at Bowen’s Court, Pontmorlais, a derelict building that has in the past been a pub, a butcher’s and opticians – and is being refurbished to the highest standards. It will also have an industrial theme, and memory and Instagram photos walls.
Bowen’s Court is the 12th building to have undergone major redevelopment as part of the Council’s Pontmorlais Townscape Heritage Scheme since its launch in 2011.
It is now owned by local company Murphy Corke Developments, which received funding from the Townscape Heritage Scheme, National Lottery Heritage Fund, Cadw and the Council itself. Murphy Corke Developments also received Targeted Regeneration Investment (TRI) Thematic funding from Welsh Government’s Transforming Towns programme.
Managing Director of The Mine Stuart James said:
“The vision for Merthyr Tydfil is to create a community bistro/restaurant that uses the best of local food and produce to create high quality healthy meals.
“We also want it to bring together members of the community – particularly those at risk of isolation or disadvantage – and encourages visitors into the area, increasing tourism and investment in the town.”
Stuart thanked the Council for helping him find the premises, agree the rent with the landlord and find his staff.
“Merthyr Council’s support has been unreal,” he added. “We are absolutely delighted with what the teams have done for us.”
Award-winning Head Chef and co-owner Marius Castelany started his career with the French Foreign Legion more than 25 years ago. Marius is also a qualified cookery teacher and completed his scholarship with ‘Godfather of Italian cuisine’ Antonio Carluccio.
The restaurant will seat up to 80 diners and the cuisine will be ‘split between two heritages, Welsh and Italian’ with signature dishes including ‘Breast of Heaven’ and Fillet Surf ‘n’ Turf. The restaurant will be on the top floor of the two-storey building, with the ground floor becoming an Italian tapas bar.
Opening hours will be 12noon-11pm, Wednesday to Saturday and noon-6pm Sunday. The owners hope it will be ready for business by the end of November.
The Mine at CF47 is the latest business to benefit from the County Borough Council’s Meanwhile scheme, which supports new enterprises to open premises in vacant buildings in the town centre.
Cabinet Member for Regeneration, Transformation and Commercialisation Cllr Geraint Thomas said:
“We are so pleased to see another great restaurant opening in the town centre, and we’re sure The Mine will be just as popular here as it is in Cwmgwrach.
“The Meanwhile programme, which is linked directly to the overall regeneration of the town centre, is working in collaboration with Tydfil Training to offer innovative support to local businesses taking on property for the first time and/or diversifying into new product/service offerings.
“This innovative initiative made possible by our hard working economic development team and its forward-thinking partners is helping our town centre continue to grow a culture of great independent businesses and food and drink offerings,” he added.
“And there will be plenty more to come in a very exciting imminent period for Merthyr Tydfil’s economy.”
If you would like some support from the Meanwhile scheme, please contact Merthyr Tydfil Enterprise Centre on 01685 727509.