When discussing speciality coffee in northeast Wales, you really have to mention King Street Coffee Company, which was started by brothers Phil and Andy in 2016, and led to the opening of today’s Coffee Spot, Bank Street Social, a year later. While King Street Coffee Company, located in the bus station, closed during the COVID-19 pandemic, Bank Street Social, a few minutes’ walk away on (appropriately enough) Bank Street, is still going strong, as Amanda and I discovered when we visited a couple of weeks ago on our way back from North Wales.
Bank Street Social accurately describes itself as Wrexham’s only speciality coffee and craft beer shop. It’s a fairly small spot, with enough space inside for three tables at the front, the counter at the back and multiple shelves stocked with cans and bottles of craft beer (although I also spotted some cider as well). When it comes to coffee, Bank Street Social uses Neighbourhood Coffee’s Espresso Yourself blend to deliver a standard espresso-based menu, backed up by a selection of tea and hot chocolate, plus retail bags of coffee to take home. If you’re hungry, there’s a range of bagels and toasties, plus a selection of cake.
You can read more of my thoughts after the gallery.
A few minutes’ walk from Wrexham’s bus station as well as the two main train stations, Wrexham Central and Wrexham General, Bank Street Social is right in the heart of the town. There’s also abundant parking in and around the town centre if you’re driving.
At the western end of Bank Street, where it narrows to become a pedestrian thoroughfare, Bank Street Social is on your left as you head down from Hope Street. Although its façade is quite striking, due to the width of the street, Bank Street Social is easy to miss if you’re not paying attention, so I was grateful for the multiple signs which draw attention to its presence. The door is on the left, while there are two large windows to the right, but otherwise that’s it.
Inside, Bank Street Social is similarly cosy, with the seating confined to three two-person tables along the front, which line a wooden box bench which runs in front of the windows. The counter, which is where you order and pay for your coffee, is at the back of space, opposite the tables, while the craft beer part of the operation is down the sides. There’s a small set of shelves with bottles and cans on right, while the bulk of the stock is on the left, starting immediately after the door. There’s another small set of shelves, with the rest of the stock held in four tall chiller cabinets.
I’m not really qualified to comment on the beer, expect to say that there did seem to be a large range, drawn from small breweries from around the country and beyond. Although mostly beer, Bank Street Social also carries a small selection of cider and spirits.
As well as speciality coffee and craft beer, Bank Street Social (as the name suggests) styles itself as a meeting place, and so it proved to be when Amanda and I visited. Andy, who was behind the counter, is a chatty fellow at the best of times, while having just the three tables, all in such a relatively small space, encourages everyone to join in the conversation, which is exactly what Amanda did, beguiling everyone with her American accent and providing useful cover while I got on with the important business of taking photographs.
When it comes to coffee, Bank Street Social uses Neighbourhood Coffee from Liverpool, with a small selection of single-origin retail bags on display on the counter (Amanda picked up a bag of Ground Control to Major Tom to take back to the US). If you’re drinking in (or ordering coffee to go), you’ll find the Espresso Yourself blend in the hopper, Bank Street Social serving a fairly standard, concise espresso-based menu.
If you’re hungry, there’s a selection of bagels plus toast and a small selection of toasted ciabatta and toasties. I went for the roasted pepper and guacamole toastie, while Amanda stuck with her usual order of toast. We paired these with a flat white each, the Espresso Yourself blend going well in milk with classic toffee and chocolate notes. Together with the toast/toastie, these set up us nicely for the long drive ahead.
December 2021: Bank Street Social has won the 2021 Best Neighbourhood Coffee Spot Award.
June 2022: For a while, Andy & Phil also ran Costigan’s Coffee in Rhyl, although that partnership has now come to an end. You can see what I made of it when I popped by in March.
|5 BANK STREET • WREXHAM • LL11 1AH|
|Monday||08:00 – 14:00||Roaster||Neighbourhood Coffee (espresso only)|
|Tuesday||08:00 – 14:00||Seating||Tables|
|Wednesday||08:00 – 14:00||Food||Toasties, Bagels, Cakes|
|Thursday||08:00 – 14:00||Service||Order at Counter|
|Friday||08:00 – 14:00||Payment||Cards + Cash|
|Saturday||08:00 – 14:00||Wifi||Free (with code)|
|Chain||No||Visits||17th September 2021|
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