New “Covid-compatible” street cafe and open-air market in Guangzhou

A new ‘Covid-friendly’ street cafe and outdoor market has opened in Canton behind the Corporation pub.

The company’s yard at the corner of Cowbridge Road East and Llandaff Road has been home to 17 street vendors and more than 100 market traders since it opened eight weeks ago.

Independent market stalls surround a large marquee in the center of the courtyard, with around fifteen tables. QR codes on each table allow diners to order meals or drinks brought to the table, without having to get up.

But since the outer courtyard is surrounded by houses, people living nearby have complained about the music and loud conversations late at night.

The company’s court applied for a premises license from Cardiff Council, to move the bar outside and stay open later. The licensing committee granted the license in a hearing on Oct. 15, after listening to neighbors’ concerns about noise.

During the hearing, Chris Rowlands, the plaintiff, said: “This is a street cafe and outdoor market, designed to give several small businesses and operators a chance to put businesses back on a paid basis. in these troubling times.

“The place went so well with the local community that we quickly spread and we now have a shortlist of over 200 market traders who want to set up a stand there, and four other sites are asking us to set up. similar operations on their land in Cardiff. and the Valleys.

“The location itself was specifically designed to be a Covid-friendly site, which is why we opted for an outdoor location. We do not know when the Covid will end. Many of our fellow operators are reaching a breaking point, having no venues or locations suitable for restrictions. So we created one for them.

“The aim of the company is not to be a single massive operator, making a fortune like Wetherspoons or any other pub chain, but for countless small businesses all to work together, to make some money together. . “

A QR code on a table at Corporation Yard in Canton

The street cafe currently operates Thursday through Saturday, until 9 p.m., and market traders are there every Saturday and Sunday.

But neighbors living nearby told the licensing committee how much of a nuisance noise from the company’s yard.

Councilor Ramesh Patel asked if a condition on the permit could prevent the yard trade at 8 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday.

Cllr Patel said: “The reason for these hours is that this is a completely residential area and the backyard faces the houses, where a number of families live with their children.

“With Covid, more and more families are now working from home and it’s a huge struggle for them, especially if they have children who have to go to bed early and get to school the next day.

“We have to have a more sensible approach, because this is an outdoor space and people have been making noise.”

Iestyn Gruffudd, who lives nearby, told the clearance hearing about her concerns about noise and driver parking on the sidewalk.

Mr. Gruffudd said: “All noise is quite heavy and emanates from the house. There is music throughout the day, from early in the morning to late at night. You can hear it from the front and back of the house. It’s quite disturbing.

“After talking to my blind neighbor next door, she mentioned the problems she is having with the number of vehicles parked outside on the sidewalk, loading and unloading supplies in the market.

“The Corporation has been there for several years, it is a building for a long time. But there is no history of the external zone used for this type of event.

“That’s the biggest problem, it’s a residential area and the use of the location has changed quite significantly from what it used to be.”

The licensing committee voted to grant the new premises permit, on condition that the Company cease serving alcohol and food by 11 p.m.

Mr Rowlands said: ‘There are three beer gardens a stone’s throw from us which can all open until 11pm. We don’t expect to have more than anyone else, but we don’t expect to have less than anyone else.

“As a business we have done quite well. When issues were brought to our door, we dealt with them. No one wants a beer garden next to them. But you have to weigh that against the benefits to the community and the jobs, which are worth it.

“The company had a bad reputation back then, and it got away from that. This is not an indoor pub, it is an outdoor dining experience with a market. The company has performed incredibly well over the past eight weeks, despite the terrible challenges facing the hospitality and retail industry. “

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