Sunday, 17 August 2008
31 Westgate Street, Cardiff [map]
Given that it's open until 3am on Fridays and Saturdays, this is as much a boutique (ie tiny) club as it is bar. We were there at about 8pm on a Saturday and there was little evidence of what would compel someone to stay till the early hours.
Its cooler-than-thou vibe, and ill-advised attempt to replicate some sort of Soho media hangout, feels completely out of place on Westgate Street. The try-hard disposition is compounded by the huge windows, which mean that wherever you sit you're made to feel like a mannequin in a shop window.
The retro-future moulded plastic furniture is all very Habitat, while the knobbly floor reminds us of nothing so much as the non-slip tiles you get in public swimming pools.
In recent years, the same site has been home to both Boudoir and, before that, La Tantra - which suggests that the place is still desperately trying to carve an identity worth hanging on to. On the strength of Crunch, it's yet to succeed.