Wetherspoon to leave Wokingham, while shoe shop suddenly closes
WETHERSPOON has announced that it is the latest big name retailer to leave Wokingham, weeks after Marks & Spencer closed the doors on its Peach Street branch.
The pub chain has called time on The Gig House in Erftstadt Court – however, the intention is for the site to remain as a restaurant or pub and it has been put on the rental market.
Originally launched as a Lloyds No 1 venue – a Wetherspoon pub with music – the pub offers the usual mixture of meals, beers and craft brews as well as a weekly pub quiz.
But this will change next year.
Signs have gone up outside the pub revealing that it is up to let as a restaurant and bar.
It follows a similar move by Wetherspoon in Reading, where it pulled out of The Monk’s Retreat bar in the town centre. It is now run by Stonegate Pub Company and offers live music at weekends.
A spokesperson for Wetherspoon said: “Wetherspoon has served a break notice with the landlord. The pub will be handed back to the landlord in September 2018.
“There will be no redundancies – all staff will remain with Wetherspoon.”
It is not the only big name to leave Wokingham town centre in the past week.
The shoe shop Cara suddenly closed its doors on Saturday after holding a sale.
It still has branches in Henley and Caversham and it is not known why the store closed.
Cara had not responded to requests for a comment as we went to press.
We broke the news regarding The Gig House on our website on Monday and hundreds of comments were received from readers.
While some were pleased to see the pub chain move on, others were concerned.
“Noooo that can’t happen!! We love it there and it’s family friendly and prices are affordable for all,” wrote Lynn Aldridge.
Melissa Paulden noted: “What a shame. The Gig House is a great meeting place for groups of friends in wheelchairs. Totally accessible, spacious and with such courteous service shown towards people who need extra help.”
And Kiara Maher said: “Not a good sign for Woko when businesses are leaving! Cara shoe shop last week, M&S, and now Wetherspoons!”
Wokingham Borough Council said that businesses in the town centre are being offered support during the regeneration scheme.
A spokesperson said: “We are not the landlord for The Gig House or Cara and so cannot comment directly on their decisions, although we believe these are part of a pattern of wider changes rather than a local response.
“All town centre businesses have been offered support if they wish to seek Business Rate relief during the regeneration or Market Place improvements. In addition, we have worked with the Wokingham Business Association to help local businesses better promote themselves.”
Although Wetherspoon will leave The Gig House, it is expected that the site will be relet to another company looking to run a pub/restaurant