As the region's pubs and bars continue to adjust to a new way of doing things - with covid guidelines in place of course - the Leader has launched its Pub of the Week feature, where landlords and landladies from across Wrexham and Flintshire have the chance to showcase their establishment.

Now more than ever, it's vital to support our local businesses.

If you would like your pub to be featured, simply fill in our online form or if you would like to nominate a pub, email

This week we meet David Metcalfe, who has run the Holly Bush Inn, in Cefn Mawr, for seven years, saving it from demolition.

David picks up the story: "We took our pub over in 2013. At the time we put our offer in, it was under threat of demolition for a new roundabout for Tesco, which was also being built.

"We wanted to save Cefn Mawr's oldest pub and keep the heart of our village alive and ensure what is now the primary gateway into the traditional shopping centre of Cefn Mawr from the Tesco bypass, was marked with a prominent building. This would be necessary to try and keep businesses along Crane and Well Street alive."

But the work didn't stop there, in fact it was only just beginning.

David said: "It was in extremely poor condition. Since then we have conducted a program of restoration works to improve the property to it former glory as a premier pub of Cefn Mawr. In 2014 we joined in with the WCBC THI Scheme funded by the NLHF and conducted some major structural repairs."

And even coronavirus couldn't slow them down. "During the recent lockdown, we completed further restoration work every day of the closure, while maintaining our beer garden in pristine condition."

The Leader:

Above: Sue, Jess, Iona and David, at the Holly Bush Inn, Cefn Mawr. Other members of staff not present - Denise, Hanna, Mando and Just-so.

On the subject of covid, David adds: "We have kept our word to our community and the pub has stayed open throughout as asked for by many, apart from the forced closure of the lockdown.

"We want to keep the heart of our village alive, and many other local businesses see trade because of such. We are proud of this and want to do more for our community.

"We fully realise that our pub will only do as well as the community around it, and therefore the better our community does, the better our pub will do."

Being a part of the community is something the Holly Bush take seriously.

David said: "We like to help local charities by raising monies at the bar etc and were recently very pleased to sponsor Paul Edwards in his marathon walk from Fort William (that Cefn Mawr has ties to) to Penycae via the three peaks, Ben Nevis, Scarfell and Snowdon, for Hope House Hospice.

"We have also raised monies for Nightingale House on a number of occasions and were extremely pleased with our young people when we ran the march through of our village as a part of the Christmas Fare a few years ago."

The lockdown also brought another issue to light for the team at the pub. "We learnt many new things, one unfortunately was just how much litter we must deal with around our pub. We conduct daily litter picks to try and maintain the area around our pub. By doing so during the lockdown and maintaining our beer garden we have found that 10% of the rubbish we have is not ours.

"Fortunately, the Welsh Government has started to look at moving our nation on to a Circular Economy and we are joining in with this. We have been active supporters of the Future Generations Act since its enactment in 2015 because if we all followed this general good advice, we will be able to leave a better world for our children and grandchildren. This is why our pub has a very strict Environmental Policy, where for the little waste we produce, it is all recycled in the appropriate streams. Therefore, given that 10% of the waste we recycle is not ours, we score 110% in our opinion on our recycling program.

"Our local pubs are ideal examples of a Circular Economy with little waste."

The Leader:

While there are no spooky goings-on at the pub, there is a special item.

David explains: "During our restoration in 2013 to 2015 a child's shoe was found hidden in the building. Concealed shoes have been discovered in many European countries, and other parts of the world.

"It is suggested some may have been concealed as magical charms to protect the occupants of the building against evil influences such as demons, ghosts and witches.

"The shoe was found in the chimney breast of the old butchers when this was removed which was in a central internal position to the building.

"The Holly Bush Inn Shoe is now kept safely and carefully in our pub to continue to ward off any evil spirits or daemons."

It may be a modern world at the pub these days but it has a long history.

David said: "The Holly Bush Inn opened 1800 and is related to the construction of the Pontcysyllte Aqueduct.

"The yellow lime rendered part of the building is the oldest, built from leftovers from the construction of the stone piers of the aqueduct built at the same time. The stone being quarried locally in Tn-y-Craig Quarry just above where the Holly Bush Inn stands, as where many of the original buildings of what became Cefn Mawr.

"The next oldest section of the building is plain sandstone at the far end is built from the leftover stone quarried for the mighty Cefn Viaduct and was built in the late 1840s.

"The middle section of the building dates back to between 1880 and 1900 and is of brick construction produced locally from our various brick yards that we once had, JC Edwards being the most famous."

In a nutshell: "If you want to help save the planet and our local heritage, you can always call into our pub and meet our friendly bar staff, Sue, Mandy, Denise, Hanna, Jess and Just-so, Dave and Iona. We work as a team and do our best to provide a much-valued community service for all our customers and firmly believe in Sustainable Tourism Development."

So when you order a drink at the Holly Bush Inn, you're doing much more than quenching your thirst.

If you would like to know more about the work beyond the bar at the Holly Bush Inn, please visit

• The Holly Bush Inn

Cefn Square

No 1 Hill Street

Cefn Mawr

01978 449 814

Opening hours: 11am-11pm, seven days a week (current covid restrictions apply)