Shropshire Star

We visit the micropub in a charming Shropshire market town where the owners helped revive the high street

When a business closes, there is the possibility that the building can become unused and unloved, an empty lot with no purpose.

Published

Watch more of our videos on Shots!
and live on Freeview channel 276

In the case of a former cafe on Market Street in Wellington, what could have been an empty unit has become a vibrant, friendly and distinctive micropub with a changing cast of beers.

The Boot was opened in 2022 by Emma Dean and Michael Young, who own and have run the Coracle Micropub in Ironbridge since it opened in 2018, after they decided to branch out and find another place they could revive as a pub.

Ms Dean said they looked at a number of places across the Telford area and found that the former cafe on Market Street was a good fit for what they wanted.

It closed briefly in 2023, but has reopened and thrived since

She said: "We own the Coracle, which is on the High Street in Ironbridge and has been open since 2018, and that has been going reasonably well, so we thought we'd try somewhere else in the area that we could branch out to.

"The Coracle was the first Micropub in Telford, so we thought we'd try it again and Wellington just seemed like an obvious space and, at the time, it just felt like it would be a good fit.

"The point of a Micropub is to make use of disused retail space and Wellington did have a lot of empty spaces, so this place is on a good spot on Market Square and is just perfect in terms of the space that we need."

The Boot takes up a prominent place on Market Square

Ms Dean said the work to refurbish the cafe had taken time as the cellar had had to be fitted from scratch, as did the handles and taps on the bar, and the kitchen had had to be refurbished, but the place had been ready to open in July 2022.

She said that there had been initial excitement about the pub, with a lot of regulars from the Coracle coming in to drink at the Boot, but said that it had been a struggle a year ago, with the pub temporarily closing while she and her partner worked out the differences between the Boot and the Coracle.

She said: "We did have to stop and have a rethink last year, but we've been able to reopen and we've now got a different outlook on things as we've realised that this place can't be exactly what the Coracle is and that won't work in Wellington, so we've adapted.

"We have vinyl nights, we have open decks and we have girls beer social on the last Thursday of every month, which provides a space where girls can come and have a drink and they can become part of a group and be integrated together in a tight-knit group.

"We've had to do a few things and think of a few schemes to encourage people to come in and they seem to be doing the job, plus we've worked on changing the decor and making the place a bit more cozy."

The pub has a wide selection of drinks of tap and in bottles

Being a Micropub, the Boot is not owned by a brewery and is a freehold, so Ms Dean said that gave them more freedom to bring in whatever beers they wanted, with a few regular beers, but also an ever-changing cast.

She said: "We have a couple of permanent lines as some people like to come in and they know what they're going to get, whereas others come in and want to look at what's on the board and task themselves to work through all the other beers.

"We don't want to be tied to anyone and I think it's good to be able to change to different tastes, so we will sometimes have a specific style in the mind that we want and we just try to fit that with different beers.

"We also don't specifically don't do food, but we hold events regularly and we have kitchen takeovers with beers, such as an American beer showcase with food to match and a tapas tie-in with the Orange House across the road."

A lot of work went into redeveloping the former cafe and turning it into a pub

Ms Dean said the Boot had become special to her because of the relationship with the customers, as well as the link with AFC Telford, a thrill for her as a fan.

She said: "We've become very close to the regulars and customers that we've come to know here and at the Coracle.

"We also have a tie-in with the football club, which is great for me as I'm a fan and we get to have a gathering there on matchdays, which is great for me on a personal basis."

Sorry, we are not accepting comments on this article.