National pub operator JD Wetherspoon is to open 30 new pubs and create 1,200 jobs in 2013, the company announced.
The expansion plans will see pubs open in cities across the UK, adding to the firm's current total of 866 pubs and bars.
A spokesman said the expansion plans don't include Northern Ireland at present.
JD Wetherspoon revealed that it is to invest more than £35m in areas including Cardiff, Fort William, Selby, Whitby, New Brighton and Fraserburgh.
Wetherspoon chairman Tim Martin, who attended school in Northern Ireland, said: "We are looking forward to opening the new pubs, many of which will be in areas where Wetherspoon is not yet represented.
"We are also pleased to be creating so many new jobs, especially during a recession."
But he said that the company would have created more jobs were it not for the restrictive tax regime in the UK. "There is no question that we would open more pubs and create more jobs in 2013 if the increasing tax burden on pubs was reduced," Mr Martin added.
The chain has nine pubs in Northern Ireland in the likes of Belfast, Carrickfergus and Enniskillen.
Founder and chairman Tim Martin started the JD Wetherspoons chain 30 years ago when he was 24 years old after qualifying as a barrister.
It has gained popularity over the years for its 'value' offering but Mr Martin has long argued that supermarkets have an advantage over the bar trade because they don't have to pay the 20% VAT on food which pubs do.