Despite 2023 being a challenging year for businesses everywhere, Wiltshire has seen a host of new shops, restaurants, bars, and cafes thrive.

Dozens of locals opened their own venues throughout the year and have since found success in their respective towns and villages.

With independent businesses needing support from their communities now more than ever, we rounded up some of the most exciting new ventures to launch in Wiltshire this year.

The Cellar wine bar

Wiltshire Times: Bryan HoudeBryan Houde (Image: Bryan Houde)

The Cellar by Wine Monkey was opened on April 28, at Borough Parade in Chippenham, by local wine enthusiast Bryan Houde.

Mr Houde opened the bar, which also serves food and has a retail section, to fill a gap for high quality wine in the town centre.

After launching he labelled the reception from locals as “spectacular” and revealed that he hoped to spark a revival for independent venues in Borough Parade.

Tonka Bean Cafe and Bar

Wiltshire Times: Tonka Bean Cafe and BarTonka Bean Cafe and Bar (Image: Newsquest)

In Devizes another bar, which also doubles as a cafe during the day, was opened by former teacher Abrilli Phillip in June.

Tonka Bean has brought a Caribbean twist to the former Vaults Micropub venue in St Johns Street and serves food and drink inspired by Ms Phillip’s Trinidadian roots.

The business has been well supported and brought a “party” atmosphere to the town centre.

Bargammon’s Tavern

Wiltshire Times: Bargammon's TavernBargammon's Tavern (Image: Newsquest)

In May there was an exciting first for Wiltshire’s food and drink scene, when Bargammon’s Tavern in Chippenham Market Place became the county’s original board game cafe.

The premises was transformed into a medieval inn and filled with games ranging from packs of cards to 11-hour board games.

In total, owner Melanie Yexley has sourced over 300 different games for customers to sift through.

Retro Relics cafe

Wiltshire Times: Retro RelicsRetro Relics (Image: Retro Relics)

But Bargammon’s was not alone for long because Wiltshire’s second board game cafe was launched by Denise and Neil Rodwell in October.

The pair fulfilled a “lifelong dream” when they created a “community hub” offering games, food and hot drinks just off Market Lavington High Street.

Coffee on the Corner

Wiltshire Times: Coffee on the CornerCoffee on the Corner (Image: Coffee on the Corner)

A coffee shop without the board game twist, this independent start-up on Station Hill in Chippenham has instead focused on “high quality, sustainably sourced coffee”.

Opened by partners Mark Williams and Millie Jones in July, the shop has since become a popular venue for caffeine lovers in the town centre.

Ahead of opening the pair told this paper they were hoping to add to the town’s offering of independent businesses.

Skippers Fish and Chips

Wiltshire Times: SkippersSkippers (Image: Nick Phipps)

The August bank holiday weekend saw long queues stretching out the door as fish and chips returned to Malmesbury.

A dedicated fish and chip shop had been sorely missed in the town and residents were thrilled when Skippers opened at Cross Hayes.

The takeaway has since received positive reviews from many on social media, with customers impressed by the shop’s offering.

Bombers Sports Bar

Wiltshire Times: Bombers Sports BarBombers Sports Bar (Image: Bombers Sports Bar)

When Woods Sports Bar closed, at the Ivy Road Industrial Estate in Chippenham, it left a hole in the lives of local snooker and pool players.

But this was finally filled in November when Darren Comley reopened the unit as Bombers in November.

Mr Comley, a regular in the local pool scene for many years, fully refurbished the “derelict” unit ahead of opening and was confident the bar would thrive.


Wiltshire Times: Inside the bakeryInside the bakery (Image: TrayCake)

One of the most recent new venues to open in Wiltshire, Sconnoisseur fully launched at The Ginnel in Devizes on December 9.

The new bakery was opened by Nicky Hitt, a former teacher who started her baking business TrayCake in 2019.

The opening of this traditional bakery is another milestone for the local businesswoman, who has turned her passion into a successful business.