The UK’s biggest pub chain JD Weatherspoon has confirmed that it has not turned its back on Armagh as a potential location for a new pub.
It is now six months since Wetherspoons owner, Co Down man Tim Martin, revealed an interest for new outlets in larger towns and cities such as Armagh, Newry and Omagh.
Armagh I has received several emails and enquiries of late from local people enquiring whether or not there had been any further movement for further additions.
The chain is hopeful that it will shortly win planning approval to convert a former JJB Sports store on Belfast’s Royal Avenue into a new pub.
It would be only Wetherspoons second pub in the city and would bring the number of pubs it owns in the Province to 10.
Armagh I today contacted JD Wetherspoon to see what the current state of play is.
The company always invites suggestions for new sites from the public and that remains the case.
Indeed, Armagh I can reveal that Wetherspoons has made enquiries in relation to a number of possible outlets in the Armagh area over the past year.
Sources indicate that one of those sites looked at it the former Dunnes Stores at English Street in Armagh.
Spokesman Eddie Gershon told Armagh I that, while the chain is presently not looking at specific areas, Armagh certainly remains in its sights as a potential location.
“It is an area we would consider,” Mr Gershon confirmed.
Last October, owner Mr Martin gave the first indication that it was in the mood for further expansion across the Province, when he revealed: “We are looking at a few locations but none has come to fruition.
“We are hoping that a few more might develop in Belfast and elsewhere in Northern Ireland. It will be in the biggest towns – we are interested in Omagh, Armagh, Newry and towns of that ilk.”
The chain already has nine outlets across Northern Ireland, including Belfast, Lisburn and Coleraine.
The company has already opened its first pub in the Republic of Ireland and plans a further 50 across the UK after an upturn in trade over the past two to three years.
JD Wetherspoon is famed for its low-cost drinks and food, with the price of a pint of lager coming in at just over £2! The award-winning chain hails itself as offering “choice and value in both food and drink”.
Confirmation of JD Wetherspoon’s continued interest comes after Armagh I exclusively revealed that the world’s largest fast food restaurant chain, McDonalds, has listed Armagh as one of 11 areas in which is hopes to open.
And just this week it was confirmed that the recently developed Tesco store was now to be divided up into four retail units and a drive-thru restaurant, adding further hopes that that move could become a reality.
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