¡Salud! to Cardiff’s new Spanish twin venues

A Cardiff hospitality couple have launched two Spanish-influenced restaurants simultaneously and side-by-side at the Lakeside development by Roath Park, on the north side of the city.

Bodega is a wine-bar and restaurant serving small and sharing plates of food cooked with fire and smoke, while Ballers is a pizzeria serving Neapolitan-style sourdough pizzas with a ‘Spanish twist’ in the form of charcuterie and other Hispanic ingredients.

The founders, Sophie Pascoe and Benito Martinez, also run The Priory hotel and restaurant in Caerleon, while their Ballers brand has already been launched from a van in Heath.

Benito’s father, Benigno Martinez, is from Galicia in northwest Spain and came to Cardiff 40 years ago to launch the family’s well-known restaurant Le Monde.

Benito said: “We’re thrilled to be getting not one, but two new venues open in time for Christmas. It’s a chance to build on what we’ve already created at The Priory and introduce a new Cardiff audience to the kind of food we love to eat. We’ve worked extremely hard to assemble a brilliant team and have been working with suppliers and partners behind the scenes to perfect the menus. We can’t wait to welcome people through the doors to see what we’ve created.”

Sophie, who owns interior design agency Studio Severn and designed the spaces for both restaurants, said: “Whilst with Bodega the intention was to create an intimate, atmospheric ambience with design nods to big sister restaurant The Priory; for Ballers it was all about building an identity which represents our cheeky, yet sophisticated pizza brand. It has been quite the challenge to bring these to life side by side whilst also juggling client commitments and deadlines, but here we are – it’s all been worth it.

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