STAFF HAVE been left out of pocket after a city centre bar closed and failed to pay their employees.

Cosmo's Cocktail Bar opened on the site of the short-lived Karen's Diner in Friars Walk in August 2023 and permanently closed on March 27, 2024.

The Argus has been told that employees were paid on the 28th of every month with March 2024 being a normal working month.

On March 27 2024 the day before payday, staff were told via email that the bar was to close with “immediate effect” leaving them unemployed. Staff were told they “would not be paid” and advised to “claim universal credit.”

Staff reportedly tried to contact the bar’s owner’s only to find they had been blocked.

Madison,16, started working at Cosmo's in September 2023 as a part time waitress for £5.35 an hour.

The teenager is owed £200, mum Chloe Wright told the Argus that this is a lot of money for a young adult trying to “sustain her education and learn to earn and manage her own money.”

Ms Wright believes her daughter has been left feeling “betrayed” by her first job.

South Wales Argus: Inside the former cocktail barInside the former cocktail bar (Image: Cosmo's)

Ms Wright said: “Cosmos employees were paid on the 28th of every month and Madison was last paid on February 28, 2024, as to my knowledge were all other staff. 

“March 2024 had been a normal working month, and shifts were planned on their staff planner for April. 

“Employees were due to be paid on March 28 but on March 27 around 2pm all staff were sent the same email explaining that the premises was closed with immediate effect. That they were no longer employed and would not be paid. They were advised to claim Universal credit. 

“This came as shock to all, as they had been given their shifts times and were planning on working the Friday as normal.

“To add to the insult this news also came the day before their payday. The staff desperately tried to reach out to their managers for answers and each found themselves blocked on every platform and uncontactable. Staff also checked the staff planner for April to find it had been deleted. 

“Although she was owed just under £200 and has no financial dependants, this was a lot of money to her as a young adult trying to sustain their education and learn to earn and manage her own money.

“I personally feel sorry for all the employees who have been left in such a desperate position. I am saddened at the fact the so-called management made no further effort to provide them all with further answers or show efforts to pay them what they were owed to ease the financial struggle they are all now in while they seek new employment.”

A former Cosmo's employee, who wished to stay anonymous, told the Argus that they are owed approximately £325 which was to be used to “pay bills and they “have been left struggling to pay them.”

The former employee said: "We were informed that we were not going to be paid for our work and in my case, as well as others, our holiday pay would also not be paid. 

 “As others, I was relying on this money to pay for many bills and have since been left struggling to find money as there was no heads up beforehand.

“The owners have blocked all contact with every employee and have handled this situation with no professionalism at all.”

Cosmo's declined to comment citing privacy and data protection.