Dine in The Mine: new colliery themed restaurant opens in former Town of Steel

Hugely popular Cwmgwrach eatery, The Mine has officially opened its doors in Merthyr Tydfil — reminding the former industrial town of its heritage, more than 100 years after the closure of Cyfarthfa Ironworks.

The Mine at CF47 and Castelany’s officially opened in Pontmorlais on Friday last week (03 December) — filled to the brim with authentic industrial décor, including metal bar gantries, wall art murals and a poignant memory wall.

The transformative project has been made possible by an investment from Merthyr Tydfil County Borough Council and its Meanwhile scheme — which supports new enterprises to open premises in vacant buildings in the town centre.

Plus, additional funding was received from the Townscape Heritage Scheme, National Lottery Heritage Fund, Cadw and Targeted regeneration investment fund, the Welsh Government’s town centre regeneration programme.

The Mine CF47 and Castelany’s both reside on the top floor of a formerly derelict building in Bowen’s Court — with the ground floor playing host to an Italian tapas bar, wine bar and music venue.

From mouth-watering pasta dishes to epic American-style burgers, The Mine CF47 and Castelany’s both offer epic food for families made from the finest local ingredients — all fit for a miner after a long day’s graft (and served on shovels, no less!)

Meanwhile, Castelany’s offers Italian-style tapas in the ground floor venue, designed by award-winning Head Chef and co-owner Marius Castelany — who once completed a scholarship with the ‘Godfather of Italian cuisine’, Antonio Carluccio.

After opening in summer 2020, the original restaurant in Cwmgwrach near Glynneath has attracted diners from across the UK — and is currently fully booked until January 2022.

With hundreds of bookings already placed for The Mine CF47, it’s hoped that the same effect will be enjoyed in Merthyr Tydfil — which is the subject of an extensive town centre regeneration project. It’s all part of the council’s wider masterplan for the town — which aims to transform Merthyr Tydfil into a tourism capital of the Valleys by 2035.

Co-owner of The Mine, The Mine CF47 and Castelany’s Fine Dining, Stuart James said: “Opening a restaurant in the middle of a pandemic wasn’t an easy task — so imagine our joy to be able to say that we’ve successfully opened a second one too!

“Our new venture has been made possible by the Council’s Meanwhile scheme, which I highly recommend to other aspiring business owners. Simply get in touch with the Council to see how you can be a part of their big plans for the town centre.

“I can’t thank the people of Merthyr Tydfil enough for their support so far — and we can’t wait to be a part of the town centre community. See you soon — and don’t forget to bring along pictures of family members who worked in coal mines, ironworks or other industrial settings in the Valleys. We’d love for you to hang them on our memory wall!”

Cabinet Member for Regeneration, Transformation and Commercialisation, Cllr Geraint Thomas, said: ““We are so pleased to see another great restaurant open in the town centre, and we’re sure The Mine will be just as popular here as it is in Cwmgwrach.

“The Mine CF47 is the latest business to benefit from the Council’s Meanwhile scheme, which is linked directly to the overall regeneration of the town centre.

“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.”

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 — from whom The Mine’s owners is renting the property — having received funding from the Townscape Heritage Scheme, National Lottery Heritage Fund, Cadw, Transforming Towns and the Council itself.