Owner of ‘successful’ Wolverhampton bar forced to close due to roadworks

The sidewalk to the bar is cut off by the barriers as work continues

Johnny Jones, owner of North Street Social in Wolverhampton, said the current wave of roadworks in and around North Street has forced him to close the site due to lack of accessibility to the building.

He said the bar, which opened in February, drew large crowds, but downtown roadworks prevented customers from coming to the door.

He said: “We opened when roadworks were more towards the Red Lion end of North Street with a very successful start to life.

“It was even without the usual traffic from the taxi run which runs down right outside our premises until this year when the road was closed.

“Unfortunately, as roadworks have crept into the road to the point where we currently have no safe access to our building, it has forced us to close temporarily as our customers simply cannot get to our doors.”

Mr Jones said he had seen a direct correlation with reduced affordability and a sharp drop in trading over a six-month period, from £50,000 in turnover in a month at the start to just £6,500 over the whole month of July.

The area outside the bar has workers and protective barriers around the sidewalk

He also spoke of his frustration with the vandalism of the building by drunk people and asked Wolverhampton Council for better communication about it.

He said: “To add insult to injury, the building site which was left unattended over the weekend with cinder blocks, tools, slabs and bricks is being robbed by drunken visitors to the town.

“We have now seen our building vandalized twice, smashing solid windows with cinder blocks.

“We find ourselves in a very difficult situation because we have contacted the council for support and better communication and yet we find ourselves ignored.

“I see how positive the works will be for the aesthetics and overall perception of the city, but I think it could all have been handled much better.”

A spokesman for Wolverhampton Council said: ‘Our work to improve the public realm will help revitalize the town centre, attract visitors and support local businesses.

“However, we recognize the potential disruption caused and have worked closely with North Street Social and other businesses on nearby streets, providing regular updates on what is happening.

“Pedestrian access has always been maintained to North Street and the contractors have ensured that all paving work directly outside the business is carried out during its closure. At no time was access completely restricted.

“Our contractors have spoken with businesses while keeping them informed, and we continue to engage and respond to owner correspondence. We of course condemn all vandalism and encourage them to report any incident to the police.

“We have appointed a business adviser to work in nearby Victoria Street and explained that once this work is completed, the business adviser’s offer can be extended further.

“Work in this area of ​​North Street is expected to be completed by the end of September and will create an inviting long-term open space to support the city, further enhanced by the reopening of Wolverhampton’s fantastic civic halls.”

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