A café so popular it attracts queues out its front door is set to open in Merthyr Tydfil. The Haystack Café launched in Swansea six years ago and is bringing its second venue to the former Howfields Bakery building on the High Street "within the coming weeks".

The coffee shop and brunch-style eatery made a name for itself in Swansea, attracting legions of loyal customers who are regularly spotted queueing out the door. Inspired by the serene landscapes and warm hospitality of Welsh farms, the café on Brynhyfryd Square became a favourite, offering local produce and a cozy atmosphere that feels like a rustic escape.

In 2023 it was named as one of the best of its kind in the UK as the only Welsh restaurant among the finalists of the Uber Eats Restaurant Awards. The highly anticipated opening in Merthyr, which will offer up to 25 new local jobs, will take place within the coming weeks and details on the opening will be issued a week before the launch date. You can get more story updates straight to your inbox by subscribing to our newsletters here.

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Fry up in a frying pan
Breakfast at the Haystack in Swansea

Haystack has promised residents who intend to visit on opening day a surprise – which they said was a “small gesture, a way for us to express gratitude for welcoming the Haystack Café into your town”.

Liam Lazarus, owner of Haystack Café, said: “The lively energy and welcoming spirit of Merthyr caught our attention, prompting us to extend the Haystack Café experience to your town. We aim to create a place in Merthyr where locals can gather, enjoy delicious meals, savour the richness of Coaltown Coffee and create memories.” Try WalesOnline Premium for FREE by clicking here for no ads, fun puzzles and brilliant new features

Exterior of Howfields Bakery today
How the hotel looks today
The old exterior of Howfields
How the building once looked

In October, Merthyr Tydfil Council announced the former Howfields Bakery building would open as a luxury hotel in November. Howfields Hotel, the circa £2m development, also includes the addition of a high-end restaurant, stylish bar, and 13 luxury private flats.

Glynneath-based development company, RWP Properties, is overseeing the project and has invested significantly. Its director, Richard Powell, said: “I’ve been watching the development of Merthyr Tydfil town centre with great interest over the past few years. It’s been remarkable to see not only the scale and quality of the projects underway, but also the arrival of so many exciting independent businesses. The future looks bright in Merthyr Tydfil — and we jumped at the chance to be a part of it.”

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