The Pub Guide, 2013

The annual Pub Guide from the AA.

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The Good Pub Guide 2013

The 31st edition of the ‘only pub guide you’ll ever need’.

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Fire Island, Cardiff

Posted on 04. Dec, 2012 by in Pubs

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Fire Island, Cardiff

Fire Island is a two-storey bar and restaurant located on the corner of Westgate Street and Quay Street in Cardiff’s Castle Quarter. On offer is a mix of craft beers, barrel-aged cocktails and home cooked and grilled BBQ food.

Brief History

Previously the Glamorgan County Council Staff Club, the Grade II listed building had been vacant since 2007. Beatbox Bars Ltd, who also run Buffalo and 10 Feet Tall in the city, was granted permission to turn the building into a café/bar in 2009 but ran into some objections when they tried to apply for an extended license in May 2012.

Beatbox was granted a license to open until 1:30am and at the end of November the doors were opened to the public.

About the Pub

The exterior of the building, which cannot be altered due to its listed status, has been cleaned but there are no signs indicating the presence of Fire Island.

The interior has been stripped right back with bare brick walls throughout. The main area, with its large L-shaped tiled bar, has a mixture of wooden floorboards and basic concrete flooring. Dim, retro light bulbs and theatrical lighting feature above the bar. This area has an unfinished feel to it with some walls and floors appearing to look as though they still need decorating.

If you want to sample the food on offer (ribs, burgers, brisket, homemade coleslaw and potato salad), there are two rooms available upstairs. These rooms offer more comfortable seating along with a small bar featuring up to six ales.

The Beers

An impressive 18 hand pumps are located on the downstairs bar and another 6 in the restaurant upstairs. Not all hand pumps have been in use at the same time on the two occasions that I have visited but you should expect to find around 8 ales downstairs and around 3 or 4 upstairs.

The cask beer is supplied by the Tiny Rebel Brewing Co. in Newport who also produce a beer exclusively for the bar. Beat Box is a 4.5% American Pale Ale that’s only available at Fire Island.

In addition to Tiny Rebel, other breweries featured include ELB, Devilfish, Arbor Ales, Liverpool Organic and Moor. The breweries featured will be changing regularly and hopefully will include some that are not usually seen in south Wales.

There is a also a good bottle selection featuring Flying Dog, Brooklyn, Sierra Nevada, Fordham and more.

Should You Visit?

Despite being located close to both the City Arms and the Gatekeeper (JD Wetherspoon), Fire Island has a completely different offering to both and you are likely to find a different selection of beers in all three. The staff are very friendly and more than happy to offer samples of beer and the chef is passionate about the food they make.

More Photos of Fire Island

Venue Location

Fire Island

Westgate Street


Tel: 07586 870460

(Twitter: @awv)

Beer Taster, Pub Attendee, Photo Taker

Robert Gale likes beer, pubs and beer festivals. He also likes to take photos of beer, pubs and beer festivals. Most weekends of the year you can find him travelling around the UK (and sometimes beyond) photographing and reviewing good quality pubs and beer festivals. He also has a day job in the form of a web developer for Ozum.

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One Response to “Fire Island, Cardiff”

  1. Dorkomatic 6 December 2012 at 9:21 am #

    I spent many happy times in the old Glamorgan Staff Club and it was sad to see it close. 
    But it’s good to know they’ve finally finished redecorating after all these years!

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