Juniper Place and Old Havana to open new venues in Neath as coffee shop Moruzzi & Co closes down

By Molly Dowrick

Two new restaurant-lounge-bars are set to open in Neath next month, as Welsh firm Juniper Place and Old Havana expand their operations.

The two brands launched in Swansea in 2017 and now also have venues in Cardiff.

They will take over a unit in Croft Road, Neath town centre - which has been the home of family-run coffee shop Moruzzi & Co for the past seven years.

Read more stories about Neath.

Announcing Moruzzi & Co's closure, owner Paul Moruzzi wrote on social media: "Time to say goodbye. After seven years and over a quarter of a million coffees, Moruzzi & Co has served its last customers.

"We've had an amazing time and we know that you've all been on that journey with us as we took the bull by the horns and rode it like the wind.

"I'd like to publicly thank all my staff for being part of team Moruzzi, they are the absolute best, great to work with and always willing to go an extra step for our customers, myself and each other.

"The business is now closed. Any bookings between now and November 10, unfortunately are cancelled but bookings after the 10 will be contacted directly and will be offered tables with the new venue operator Juniper Place and Old Havana.

"Our spirit and team effort are mirrored by the Juniper Place and Old Havana group, which is why we know the future of the venue is in excellent hands for the next chapter in the history of this fantastic building."

From the archive: what the entrance to Moruzzi & Co used to look like (Jonathan Myers)
From the archive: how Moruzzi & Co coffee shop looked in 2017, now it's being transformed into restaurant-lounge-bars Juniper Place and Old Havana (Jonathan Myers)

Founder of Juniper Place and Old Havana, David Bellis said he had "always admired" Mr Moruzzi and his team, and is pleased to be able to take on the coffee shop unit and take it in a new direction.

"I have frequented Moruzzi's over many years as a customer," he said. "I have always admired the operation, the property itself and the product that Paul and his team have created. It's a real privilege to acquire this property and take an already successful destination, into a new chapter."

Juniper Place is renowned across south Wales for its all-day food as well as brunch, lunch and dinner menus - as well as its drinks menu featuring its own brand of gin, Cygnet, and premium beers, wines and spirits.

Juniper Place and Old Havana are set to open new venues in Neath [pictured: the popular Juniper Place venue in Swansea] (WalesOnline/Gayle Marsh)
What the interior of Old Havana Swansea looks like, giving an insight into how Old Havana Neath could look (Jonathan Myers)

Old Havana, meanwhile, is a Cuban-inspired venue serving cocktails and tapas.

Explaining how the two venues complement each other in Swansea and Cardiff, and how they will work together well in Neath, Mr Bellis said: "The two concepts complement each other greatly and that’s no coincidence. Our objective is to provide the full night out experience within our buildings; even a day out, should you have the appetite."

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While the Covid-19 pandemic has wreaked havoc on the entertainment and hospitality industries, Mr Bellis is confident the industry will recover.

He said: "There is no doubt we have come through the most difficult period imaginable.

"However, we are through to the other side thanks to huge amounts of effort from the team around me. And what we can now see, is opportunity."

Mr Bellis and his team aim to launch Juniper Place and Old Havana on Croft Road, Neath in early November.

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