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The Horse and Jockey Wrexham, a future?

Hope Street Horse Jockey 1 1

It really is sad to see such an iconic building as the Horse and Jockey deteriorating right in the middle of the town. This public house has a long history as a centre point for generations of Wrexham people, and at some point, I dare say the vast majority of the population of the town had visited, and undoubtedly managed to bang their heads on the low entrance door!


Currently, the building and business has been closed for quite a while now and is on offer as a leasehold (Star Pubs, who have stated that it will re-open in June 2024, although there appears to be no sign of any activity as yet). There are a number of obstacles to its survival, one of the main ones is the lack of footfall. The days of town pubs being used as social hubs have long gone (with only a few notable exceptions, Saith Seren, The Welch Fusilier and The Long Pull), everywhere else has either increased their food offering, or only open to catch the weekend mass market. There are a number of small real ale bars that seem to flourish for a short time, but soon struggle when overhead costs come into the financial landscape.


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The Horse and Jockey suffers from a number of issues that successive tenants have fallen victim to. It doesn’t have a loyal, regular customer base that keeps it going through the lean times, the rents\rates for a town centre location are a major drawback, and the floor space is very limited. This leads to the necessity to charge higher prices for food and drink, and, as we all know, the competition for that market is intense in the town. However, even with these drags on trade, there is potential for the place, which can and should trade on its uniqueness and location, and with the right commitment, inventiveness and financial input could have a future.


I looked at the details on taking the place over myself at one point, but one thing that does stand out is that whoever does take on the lease is responsible for repairs, and I would have no idea how much the repairs \ renovation of the thatched roof would be, but I would expect it to run into many thousands.


I hope that something does change soon, otherwise I can see the building going the same way as so many other such historic buildings, gradual neglect of its fabric leading to eventual demolition, reassignment of use (probably to yet another barbers!) or, as what seems to happen regularly in Wrexham, a ‘mysterious’ fire that clears a potentially lucrative building site.


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