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.
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|
|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)|
|Chain||No||Visits||31st May 2022|
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