A COUPLE are planning to build a thriving new business from the ashes of a burnt-out Wrexham pub.

The Nags Head at Ridley Wood was severely damaged by a blaze which ripped through the building in late March.

The venue was empty at the time, awaiting a new landlord.

But a two-year-old Jack Russell dog, being cared for by a caretaker manager, died in the fire, the cause of which is still being investigated.

New licensee Alan Jones has now taken over with his wife Laura with the aim of putting the Nags Head firmly back on its feet.

Laura, 23, said: “The fire was on a Sunday night and we were due to officially take over the following Friday.

“Despite what had happened we decided to go ahead so, basically, we signed up for a burnt-out pub.

“The place has needed a complete refurbishment, including a new roof.

“The upstairs was also badly damaged and needed totally re-doing.

“The work is currently going ahead and we are ppanning a grand re-opening on Friday, June 17.

“We’ll be having a free barbecue from 5pm that night and we hope as many people as possible will come along to see what we have done with the pub.”

The new team at the Nags Head is planning to put the emphasis firmly on good home cooking – which will not be a problem as 45-year-old Alan is a qualified chef who has worked at a number of top venues over the years.

He is leaving his post as head chef at the Carden Park Golf Club to take over at the pub.

Laura added: “I think running the pub is going to be a challenge but our intention is to get it back to what it used to be and that was a drive-to destination renowned for its food, especially the home-made Yorkshire puddings.

“We’ll be doing them too – and Alan is very good at them.”