TWO new very different independent shops are due to open in Wrexham's town centre adding colour and variety to the High Street.

The Magic Dragon Brewery Tap and Igam Ogam gift shop are both run by passionate local people who want to offer something different to Wrexham shoppers.

The brewery tap, the brainchild of Richard and Liz Lever, is due to open on Charles Street this week, marking the end of the work to transform a former restaurant into a place where people can enjoy locally-produced beers.

Richard, 47, has ale in his blood, being the son of Bill Lever who was the landlord of the Red Lion in Malpas, which Richard believes was one of the last pub's in the area to serve Wrexham Lager.

He remembers having to go to the brewery to collect supplies of Wrexham lager when the dreys stopped delivering it.

When he realised there was a demand for locally-produced cask ales and craft beers he put himself through several courses and made it into a career.

The Leader:

Igam Ogam in Overton Arcade, Wrexham

With a successful and award-winning brewery at The Plassey, Eyton, Richard says he is responding to calls from customers to open a bar in the town centre, taking inspiration from similar ventures such as the Big Hand Alehouse in Chester.

The premises where the brewery tap is being installed has been a restaurant in recent years but was a public house up until 1998.

Richard said: "It is about giving people in Wrexham something new, somewhere where they can enjoy locally-produced beer. But the premises did used to be a public house so in that sense it has come full circle."

People will be able to enjoy the festive ale Sleigh Ride, described as "light, hoppy and refreshing" but this is no Christmas pop-up - Richard is in it for the long haul.

He added: "It's also about giving something back to the community. People in Wrexham have been very supportive of us and now we are able to open this brewery tap for them to enjoy."

As well as Magic Dragon cask and real ales, the brewery tap will serve Wrexham Lager and other locally-produced ales, as well as a selection of wines and gins.

The Leader:

The Magic Dragon Brewery

Igam Ogam, named for a Welsh term that loosely translates as zig-zag or not following a straight line, is a unique and colourful gift shop that is due to open in the historic Overton Arcade today (Saturday).

It is the passion project of couple Sean Grantham and Sioned Ellis who have left careers in crypto currency to open their dream shop.

It will stock a wide and eclectic range of products, including gifts and gadgets from Asia, board games, items made by local artists, as well as Japanese sweets and drinks, including the popular Ramune soft drink.

The colourful outside of the shop has already gained positive attention Sean says the interior, which has so far been kept under wraps, will blow people away.

Sean, 32, said: "It is something that we have dreamed of doing for a long time but have not had the means to do it. We wanted to create something different and colourful for Wrexham.

"It is a shop but it will also be a place where people are welcome to come in and hang out. We even have an arcade machine that people can come in and play free of charge.

"The inside is full of characters and monsters, and colourful LEDs. It's amazing."

Sean added: "I am originally from Ellesmere Port and moved here two years ago, but Wrexham has felt more like home than anywhere. That's why we wanted to open the shop here.

The Leader:

Richard and Liz Lever, of Magic Dragon Brewery, won two awards at the Wales and West Regional Independent Beer Awards 2019 by the Society of Independent Brewers (SIBA)

28-year-old Sioned, a Welsh speaker who has lived in Wrexham all her life, has designed a unique range of clothes with Welsh language slogans featuring cute animals like owls and jellyfish.

The couple said their is a buzz about the arcade, with several new shops due to open.

They said: "We are the first of a few independent shops opening there in the coming weeks for the first time in over 18 months! We have put a lot of love, time and effort trying to make the shop something truly unique for everyone to enjoy and we hope this shows to everyone who visits."

People in Wrexham have already been showing their support for both businesses on social media.

Joe Bickerton tweeted: "Great to visit the new @BrewingDragon brewery tap on Charles St @wrexham today.

"Real ale brewed at the @VisitPlassey here in #Wrexham - more investment and quality in town!"

On the Igam Ogam Facebook page, Kate Wright said: "I love this shop already!"

Nia Roschi said: "Gorgeous store front, can’t wait to visit."

And Christopher Robert Evans said: "Love your Welsh name! Looking forward to paying you a visit."