THE back of the Hickory's sweet things menu declares 'I saved room for dessert'.

This in my case, was a lie. But let me take you on the delicious journey to that lie...

Invited to the 'practice makes perfect' event at the new Hickory's Smokehouse Wrexham, ahead of their official opening, I had checked out the menu and made sure I was hungry.


Outside Hickorys Wrexham.

Outside Hickory's Wrexham.


Situated on Sontley Road at the site of the former Squire Yorke pub, the team is set to welcome guests from Monday, November 20.

Before then, the front of house and kitchen crews are being put through their paces with a few special evenings.

The first box ticked on arrival was a good sized car park. Parking is something that can be the deciding factor for many looking to eat out but there's was ample room here.


Inside the barn at Hickorys Wrexham.

Inside the barn at Hickory's Wrexham.


Walking up to the venue itself, we could see a of variety of potential dining and socialising spaces offered for visitors. A later tour would explain all.

Hickory's Wrexham knows what it's giving, and serves it in spades. The vibe is relaxed but fun, and the commitment to its foundation in the Southern States of the US is excellent. This authentic feel covers the decor, atmosphere and food.

Shown to a booth (who doesn't love a booth?), our server Tim gave us a few suggestions and recommendations, for both food and drink.


Starters and drinks.

Starters and drinks.


If you've never been to a Hickory's, and neither me or my friend had, the menu can seem overwhelming but staff know it inside out, so don't be afraid to ask them anything.

Both driving, we were on soft drinks and were impressed by the choice. The selection of non-alcoholic drinks was refreshing, and includes milkshakes, American sodas and lemonades.

I went for the Booze-Free Candy (£5.50) mocktail, which came in two parts and was a piece of theatre all of its own (kids will love this one), and my friend had the Blueberry Lemonade (£3.95). We would later enjoy a Cherry Cream Soda (£3.95) and Raspberry and Mint Lemonade (£3.95). Our table had also received a bottle of water with glasses and a bag of popcorn to nibble while browsing the menu.


Mains and sides.

Mains and sides.


About that menu, it is fit to burst, and there's a lot of items people will only have seen on TV or in the movies. One of those people being me, which led to my starters choice of Classic Corn Dogs (£8.25). Covered in barbecue sauce and sprinkled with crushed pork rinds, with a cheese dip, they became an instant hit, and with three dogs served, pretty filling.

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On the opposite side of the table, my friend was tucking into Smoky Bourbon Bacon Bites (£7.50) with blue cheese dip, which were a revelation. Prepare for these to be your next food obsession.

The place was filling up, and my friend declared it like an episode of Welcome To Wrexham, with lots of recognisable faces. Wrexham really is the place to be right now.


Movies and community at Hickorys Wrexham.

Movies and community at Hickory's Wrexham.


Our mains were soon up. There are of course burgers, a whole bunch of them, as well as steak, waffles, fajitas and much more but we went for things we maybe wouldn't usually order.

I chose the Smoked Chicken Gumbo (£16.99) which came with a toasted pretzel, and a side of Cajun Onion Rings (£4.99). The gumbo stew was rammed with chicken and sausage, and had a nice little spicy kick, and was great for dipping in the soft, warm pretzel. And it was a hefty portion too.

Now I'm known for my addiction to onion rings, despite being disappointed more often than not by too soggy rings or ones that turn to dust on biting but Hickory's had them spot on. Top marks.


Bar area at Hickorys Wrexham.

Bar area at Hickory's Wrexham.


My friend was tucking into the Slow Cooked Texas Style Brisket (£20), with fries and bourbon gravy, with her side of Roast Garlic Buttered Mushroom (£3.75). The gravy is exceptional!

We were stuffed, no two ways about it - we had definitely not saved room - but in the name of research, dessert beckoned. We'd seen a portion of the Campfire Marshmallows go past, and that looked like a crowd pleaser but despite a personal weakness of churros on offer, I went for Sweet Texas Pie (£7.50) and my guest the Krispie Rocky Road, Chocolate and Hazelnut frozen custard (£5.25).


Desserts at Hickorys Wrexham.

Desserts at Hickory's Wrexham.


The pie was warm and a mix of pecan, chocolate and fudge, what's not to love but I was defeated. With eyes bigger than my belly, I failed to finish it all.

Fit to burst, we turned our attentions to the venue at large. I popped to the ladies and was pleasantly surprised to see various feminine items free to use, although it was a bit dark in there, and I attempted to leave by pushing a wall that wasn't a door. Doh!

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Enthusiastic and knowledgeable assistant manager James then gave us a tour. There's a nod to the history of the Squire Yorke (nice touch), bar area and for the younger members of any group (or big kids), a 12-seat cinema room screening cartoons. There's also a board that embraces the very community Hickory's Wrexham serves.


One of the outdoor spaces at Hickorys Wrexham.

One of the outdoor spaces at Hickory's Wrexham.


Outside, the barn is now a huge entertainment space for diners, with giant screens that are perfect for showing sports events. There's another section that is slightly open to the elements, also with big screens but it comes with cosy blankets and overhead heating for colder days and will no doubt prove popular in the summer, and looks ideal for socialising. And with live music planned every Friday, it's sure to become a hit.

Hickory's Wrexham is an experience, from start to finish, the attention to detail is evident and the team are more than ready for the people of Wrexham and beyond. And if you see me there with a stash of onion rings, don't judge me!