Wetherspoons abruptly closes ‘awesome’ pub that’s ‘always packed out’ – but it’s not all bad news

WETHERSPOONS fans were saddened after a sudden closure saw their favourite pub pull down shutters last week.

A beloved boozer in Paignton, Devon, turned away punters as the weekend kicked off, much to their disappointment.

CONGLETON – JANUARY 26: A close up of a J D Wetherspoon pub sign on January 26, 2021 in Congleton, England . (Photo by Nathan Stirk/Getty Images)

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CONGLETON – JANUARY 26: A close up of a J D Wetherspoon pub sign on January 26, 2021 in Congleton, England . (Photo by Nathan Stirk/Getty Images)Credit: Getty

But it’s not all bad news, the local – named Talk of the Town – is closed until May as a £2.1million renovation gets underway.

A spokesman for the chain confirmed last week: “The Talk of the Town closes this Saturday, February 3, for extensive refurbishment and expansion work to be carried out, at a cost of approximately £2.1 million.

“The scheme is set to extend the pub into the next door premises and refurbish the current pub building.”

They add that a new bar and larger kitchen will be sure to please locals and accommodate more customers – who are set to be welcomed back on May 14.

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It comes after Wetherspoons snapped up a restaurant next door in 2022 in the hopes to expand their current watering hole.

Despite more permanent closures across the UK, the much-loved chain is still aiming to claim 1,000 venues.

Boss Sir Tim Martin is determined to build on his current 814 strong fleet – a decrease from 951 in 2015.

As reported by The Times, he said: “We’ve sold a number of pubs over the years, especially where we’ve opened two pubs close to each other in small or medium-sized towns.

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“We’ve also surrendered a number of leasehold pubs to the landlord, where leases have come to the end.

“We have 814 pubs today and estimate there is potential for about 1,000.

We visit the ‘poshest’ Wetherspoons in the country

“Although there have been some disposals, sales are nearly a billion pounds higher than ten or 11 years ago.”

Just recently, the chain has told the Sun that one of its Poole pubs will be put on the market.

The boozer has warned last September it was putting dozens of its pubs up for sale.

In December, 20 Wetherspoons were up for sale with eight under offer, leaving fans gutted that their local branch could be lost forever.

The Percy Shaw in Halifax called last orders on January 7 after Wetherspoon sold the venue to a new owner.

Other pubs were up for sale in Battersea, Bristol, Peebles, and Shipley.

Wetherspoon pubs up for sale

Some 17 other Wetherspoons are currently up for sale, with the Rochester Crown becoming the 17th.

Here’s the full list:

  • The Pontlottyn, Abertillery
  • The Ivor Davies, Cardiff
  • Spa Lane Vaults, Chesterfield
  • The Gate House, Doncaster
  • The Market Cross, Holywell
  • The Regent, Kirkby in Ashfield
  • The Mockbeggar Hall, Moreton
  • The Hain Line, St Ives
  • The Sir Norman Rae, Shipley
  • The Sir Daniel Arms, Swindon
  • The White Hart, Todmorden
  • Lord Arthur Lee, Fareham
  • The Plough and Harrow, London
  • Resolution, Middlesbrough
  • Sennockian, Sevenoaks
  • The Rochester Castle, London
  • Foot of the Walk, Edinburgh

It comes as a number of UK pubs have closed their doors for good amid a turbulent economic backdrop.

Increased energy and wage costs are piling further pressure on businesses.

Wetherspoons’ boss Tim Martin also said far more people now drink in their homes rather than in pubs.

But Wetherspoons continues to run sales and excite its loyal fanbase.

From March 6 punters will get the chance to sample a range of 30 different real ales including five from overseas brewers. 

The festival will run for 12 days from Wednesday 6 March to Sunday 17 March.

Wetherspoons fans will get the opportunity to sample beers from Belgium, Germany, Italy, Taiwan and the USA.

The much-loved UK pub chain will also be opening a new venue at the Haven Primrose Valley Holiday Park in Filey.

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The on-site Wetherspoons is slated to open in March 2024 – although an official date has yet to be confirmed.

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