JD Wetherspoon’s Spa Lane Vaults Set To Close

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Last orders may soon be called at the popular JD Wetherspoon pub the Spa Lane Vaults. It has been reported that JD Wetherspoon has appointed estate agents to sell the pub. After closing down 32 of its venues last year the pub giant has announced that it will put a further 11 out of  its 822 pubs up for sale. Including one of our Chesterfield based ‘spoons.

The news was meet with shock and surprise by Chesterfield CAMRA members with some remarking that if a busy Wetherspoons was struggling, what would this mean for other businesses in the Town Centre. With the All Saints Tap long stood empty would this mean another large hospitality unit, needing to filled. One only has to look at the long closed S41 Bar, Barking Badger and Pacific Lounge Bar to note that once a business is closed, it can be a long road back to reopening. Not far away the nearby Rectory pub has been closed for a number of months too. A stark reminder of the difficulties our industry faces.

The Spa Lane Vaults will continue to trade as a Wetherspoon until it is sold, a spokesman has confirmed. Wetherspoon spokesman Eddie Gershon said: “We can confirm that The Spa Lane Vaults in Chesterfield has been put on the market by Wetherspoon. This is a commercial decision taken by the company. We appreciate that customers and staff will be disappointed with the news.”

Text from the Spa Lane Vaults website states: The name of this Wetherspoon pub, and the street alongside it, recall a nearby spring, which is said to have had curative powers. It prompted the siting here of the Scarsdale Brewery. The brewery occupied much of the land between Spa Lane and Hollis Street and won many awards. Its final first prize was in 1957, just before it was bought, and closed down by Whitbread’s. Though originally called the Spa Lane Vaults, this pub changed names to the Phoenix Inn in the 1880s. For over fifty years the pub was run by Billy Green, Pitmen’s Bantamweight Boxing Champion of England.

However, Wetherspoons is also proceeding with plans to introduce number of new pubs and hotels around the UK, as well as major upgrades to existing pubs involving a total investment of around £100 million. Previously, the chain has said the pubs it’s putting up for sale often have another Wetherspoons nearby with the Portland Hotel in Chesterfield safe for now. Boss Tim Martin has said customers are opting to stay at home and drink cheap supermarket beer instead of going out to their local pubs but this also seems to be restructuring of assets and reducing costs due to the increasing energy bills etc across the board. With a large portfolio of pubs, it’s seems hard choices are having to be made.

It’s not all bad news in Chesterfield’s Town Centre with new pubs opening soon like the new Belgium beer bar Devil’s Depot. We‘ve also seen pubs like the Rutland and Golden Fleece recently reopen. No doubt the cost of living crisis and ever increasing utility bills has hit both businesses plus the general public hard. It goes without saying that our pubs and clubs need our support more than ever.