A former pub landlord has swapped beer for burgers after taking over as manager of a restaurant in Wrexham.

Barry Martin, 48, has spent most of his working life serving up pints and pub meals from behind the bar of several Wrexham and Oswestry pubs but he called time on the licensed trade to take over the reins of the Burger King eatery at Eagles Meadow Shopping Centre.

The dad-of-two, who lives in Chirk, says he was looking for a career change of direction after spending the last four years as manager of the busy Highwayman pub in Oswestry.

He said: “I was happy managing pubs but decided to try something different. Before taking over at the Highwayman, which is a busy food pub, I spent six years at the Egerton Arms in King Street and six years at the Plas Coch in Wrexham.

“I want to see where I can go within Burger King. It’s a great product and a fast moving business. I want to increase trade here at Eagles Meadow where I have to admit there is strong competition.”

Barry, who is originally from Mold, added: “I really like Eagles Meadow. The customers are very good and friendly and we have quite a few regulars.

“We see a lot of students from Glyndwr University, cinema goers visiting the Odeon and families of course.

“I have 12 staff made up of a mix of full and part time. I started with Burger King in February and was delighted to take over as manager here at Eagles Meadow Shopping Centre.

“I certainly don’t regret leaving the pub trade. I’m sure I have done the right thing and I have a whole new career with a progressive company ahead of me.”

Eagles Meadow manager Kevin Critchley was delighted to welcome Barry Martin to the popular shopping centre.

He said: “Barry brings a wealth of experience to his new role after managing three busy pubs in both Wrexham and Oswestry for more than 16 years.

“I have no doubt he will prove to be an asset to Eagles Meadow and to Burger King as a business.

“Burger King offers our customers and visitors something extra and I know how popular the restaurant is with cinema goers visiting our Odeon venue and families taking a break from shopping.”

He added: “Barry leads a strong team and I wish him every success in his new career. I’m sure he will find working in the fast food industry both challenging and rewarding and a refreshing change from pulling pints!”