Brewery bosses uncertain of Wrexham pub's future

Reporter:

Reg Herbert

OWNERS of a Wrexham pub have not yet decided on its future, even though it has been closed for a month.

The Walnut Tree’s future hangs in the balance. It is situated at the busy junctions of Rhosddu Road and Prices Lane. In the past it was the meeting place for many Wrexham FC fans on their way to and from games at the nearby Racecourse Ground.

If it does close permanently it will be yet another pub calling time in the town for good.

Hardly a village in the area has escaped having its local shut down. Closures in recent times include – The Castle, Brynteg, The Clayton Arms, Moss, The Queen’s, Head, Bradley and The Mount Pleasant on the Llay-Rossett road.

A spokesman for owners Enterprise Inns said: “We are considering all the options at the moment and no decision on The Walnut has been made.”

Enterprise is the second biggest pub owners in the country behind Punch Taverns.

Ken Thompson, who along with his wife Anne used to run the The Grapes in Moss, Wrexham, until he retired five years ago, described the growing number of pubs closing in the Wrexham area in recent years as “very, very sad”.

He said: “In my opinion it is down to the fact that pubs are no longer run by the breweries - they are run by ‘pub companies” with management only going into a pub once every three years.”

Mr Thompson, a one time chairman of the Wrexham Licensed Victuallers Association, added: “In my days we had a very close link with the breweries and if a licensee had a problem we would sort it out – not any longer. Licensees now seem to be working for a profit to serve the big beer company’s debts.

“The big slide started in 1992 when the Beer Act was introduced which then allowed any corner shop to get a licence. Cheap drink at supermarkets and a ban on smoking in pubs really hit the industry hard .

“Most smokers drink and who is going to drink in a freezing pub smoke shelter in the winter when you can drink at home. In my opinion these days if you don’t provide food in a pub, you don’t have a chance.”

See full story in the Leader

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