Tabernacl

A lovely flat white, made with the Blossom Espresso Blend, and served in a classic grey cup at Tabernacl in Wrexham.Tabernacl is the latest addition to Wrexham’s small speciality coffee scene, joining the well-established Bank Street Social, a short stroll away along Hope Street. Part of the Hope Street Church, Tabernacl occupies part of the ground floor of the iconic old Burton building at the southern end of Hope Street, on the corner with Town Hill. With floor-to-ceiling windows along two sides, the bright, sunny interior enjoys some lovely views of St Giles, Wrexham’s parish church.

Tabernacl opened April 2022, and, at the time of my visit (end of May), was slowly expanding its offering. All the coffee is from Manchester-based Blossom Coffee Roasters with Blossom’s seasonal blend on espresso, served from a concise menu. This is joined by either the blend or a single-origin on batch brew filter, along with tea from Good & Proper and cakes from old friends Cakesmiths. However, with the arrival of a second grinder, expect a guest espresso to appear on the menu in the next few weeks, while the kitchen should open in the near future, offering breakfasts and lunches.

You can read more of my thoughts after the gallery.

  • The old Burton building on the corner of Hope Street and Town Hill in Wrexham.
  • The building, seen here looking along Town Hill, is now home to the Hope Street Church.
  • The view along Hope St, with St Giles in the background, taken from the top of Bank St.
  • The building retains many of its art deco features, but has been refurbished.
  • The front runs along Town Hill, but the entrance is around the corner on Hope Street...
  • ... where double doors and an A-board welcome you in.
  • And this is what I've come for: coffee! Specifically, Tabernacl, which is on the ground floor.
  • Inside, a short corridor leads you to the counter at the back of Tabernacl.
  • To your right, at the back, is a secret seating area opposite the kitchen, where you'll find...
  • ... these two three-person tables. It's a cosy nook, in contrast to Tabernacl's open spaces.
  • Talking of which, the bulk of the seating is in this glorious, window-lined, light-filled space...
  • ... at the front of Tabernacl. This ten-person communal table is on the right-hand side.
  • The view looking the other way (from the left, looking to the right). There's more seating...
  • ... in the windows on the right (2 x four-person tables), plus a two-person table at the back.
  • The remaining seating's at the front, with a row of three two-person tables in the windows.
  • Another view of the tables in the windows at the front.
  • The view from the front windows of Tabernacl, with St Giles as the backdrop!
  • The last of the seating is at the left-hand end, where you'll find these three armchairs.
  • Beyond them, mobile metal shelves separate Tabernacl from the rest of the function space.
  • They also serve as retail shelves with bags of coffee and boxes of tea.
  • This brings us back to the counter, where you order.
  • The counter is a fairly simple affair, with the kitchen through the hatch to the right.
  • There are cakes and the till at the front, with coffee (espresso and filter) at the back.
  • The cake selection, from old friends Cakesmiths.
  • The drinks menu (hot food is coming soon) is on the wall behind the counter.
  • All the shots are pulled on this two-group La Marzocco Linea espresso machine.
  • I had a lovely flat white, made with the Blossom Espresso Blend.
  • The milk did an excellent job of holding the latte art.
  • However, I'll leave you with my Blueberry Bakewell, which was excellent.
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Tabernacl is at the southern end of Hope Street, on the right-hand side as you head towards St Giles. Although the entrance is here, with recessed double doors leading to a short corridor, with the doors to Tabernacl at the far end, it makes sense to think of the front as running along Town Hill, with Tabernacl occupying the right-hand side of the building. Looking at it this way, the entrance leads you into the back of Tabernacl, where you’ll find the counter directly ahead of you in the back, left-hand corner.

The counter is a simple, L-shaped affair, with the kitchen behind it, visible through a hatch, which is to your right as you face the counter, where you’ll find the cakes and the till. The menu, meanwhile, is on the wall, above and to the left of the La Marzocco Linea espresso machine, which is up against the wall opposite the entrance, along with the grinders and the batch brewer. Order here, then find a seat, and your coffee will be brought to you.

The bulk of the seating is in the front of Tabernacl, although there is a neat little seating area at the back, effectively behind you on the right as you enter, so it’s easily missed. There’s a pair of high, three-person tables with tall chairs, tucked in against the right-hand wall, forming a cosy little nook in contrast to the open space that constitutes the rest of Tabernacle. This is roughly rectangular with floor-to-ceiling windows running along the front (the long side) and down the right-hand side, while on the left, metal shelving on wheels separates Tabernacl from the function space of the Hope Street Church, which occupies the left-hand half of the ground floor. This allows the church to run functions separately from the coffee shop, or to combine the two spaces if required.

Tabernacl has a row of three two-person tables in the windows at the front, ending with three low armchairs by a coffee table at the left-hand end. A ten-person communal table runs left-to-right in the middle of the space, followed by a four-person table in the windows on the right overlooking Hope Street. Finally, at the back on the right, against the wall of the entrance corridor, is another four-person table, plus a two-person one. In case you need to plug your laptop or phone in, this is the only place with any power outlets.

The building itself has an interesting history. Built in 1932 as one of Burton’s art deco menswear stores, it lay derelict for much of the early 2000s/2010s before Hope Street Church bought it in 2018. This led to a refurbishment of the building, transforming the ground floor, while retaining the art deco features of the upper two floors which now house offices (middle floor) and the church itself (top floor, in what was once a bingo hall).

The aim was always to open a café as part of the building, although this was delayed by the COVID-19 pandemic, the first face-to-face church service being held in April 2021 and Tabernacl opening in a year later, managed by the lovely Rob and Bethan, who have a background in speciality coffee. I popped in on a sunny Tuesday afternoon for coffee and cake, enjoying a rich, creamy flat white, the Blossom espresso blend going perfectly with the milk, which in turn went perfectly with the Blueberry Bakewell slice that I paired it with.

1 HOPE STREET • WREXHAM • LL11 1BG
www.hopestreet.church/tabernacl
Monday CLOSED Roaster Blossom (espresso + filter)
Tuesday 09:00 – 16:00 Seating Tables, Armchairs
Wednesday 09:00 – 16:00 Food Cake
Thursday 09:00 – 16:00 Service Order at Counter
Friday 09:00 – 16:00 Payment Cards + Cash
Saturday 10:00 – 16:00 Wifi Free (with code)
Sunday CLOSED Power Limited
Chain No Visits 31st May 2022

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