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Oxford Road, RG30 1AQ
Reviewed On: 29 Sep 2004
Public Houses in Reading
Friar Street, Reading, Berkshire, RG1 1EP
0.18 miles from Reading station
|Steve's Score:||3 (Out of 5)|
|Gray's Grade:||2.5 (Out of 5)|
|Garden / Facilities:||All inside in the bowels of a restuarant. So not even windows. Handy for thai grub though!|
21 August 2007
Actually this was proper exciting! Where did this place spring from. One moment we were walking through the side entrance of the restaurant past the bogs and then suddenly we were in an alcohol drinking red and black oasis. Lots of sensible PVC covered tables and chairs, all colour co-ordinated, and even the bar was chipping in - covered in red and black. Good set up. The chairs looked great in all honesty - not quite as comfy as I first thought but you could happily slouch in these for a few hours. Down one end there is a huge lit up city-scape. Not sure which city, but it looked cool-a-rama. Service was behind the bar was excellent and the bar man even offered me a free try of his lychee cocktail he was trying out. Two for one on Friday nights on cocktails apparantly (at the time of typing!). There were only two other people in here on our visit and this place seemed desperate for business. But they deserve some custom. Nice enough venue and friendly service behind the bar so get down here and give it a go. G.|
Cool-a-rama! Excellent turn of phrase my old chickadee! Although I would have gone for coolarama myself. But you’re right, as usual. It was a mighty surprise as we seemed to just be heading out the back of the place. There was also a separate room which looked like either a v. trendy VIP area or just a v. trendy little bar of its own. It didn’t seem to be open when we were there. The main bar area is pretty damn big though and the bar itself is quite long – all in all I would say the size of Yates’ downstairs. Completely different feel though with the ‘übercool’ red and black theme and projected cityscape across the back wall. Let’s not forget the Bombay mix they served with the drinks. If it wasn’t Bombay mix it would have been a nice touch, so maybe we should forget it after all. That said, you really must try it out, it needs some customers to see it this bar has a future. Its main problem will be the fact it is half way down Friar Street off the beaten track a little. Combined with the fact you are likely to miss it walking past it is danger of struggling just to get people in the door. S.
It was a Tuesday night and most bottles were two quid a pop which seemed a reasonable deal. Such a good deal we thought we'd better go for a couple each before moving on. Can't really comment on the Michelob as it's not my usual drink and I couldn't get excited. But it was cheap and served with a smile. Cheers! G.|
I’m afraid I cannot really remember what else was on sale or even on tap! Kingfisher I think, but that’s a not a surprise considering the Pan-Asian restaurant the bar is piggybacking on. Once he said the Michelob and something else were on £2 we kinda got sidetracked. I like Michelob so that was ok by me. Bottoms up! S.
"Well what can I say, without a doubt this is the best bar in Reading. The atmosphere is wonderful, the staff are extremley freindly and I love it. We had a ball on New Years Eve, if was even free! Well done to the management who appear to have got everything about this place right..I wish them much success - you have certainly won my custom."|
(Rated 10 out of 10)
JO visited in January 2008
"I was trying to sneek a peak at this new place on Sunday 25th Nov, when I was caught by a member of staff arriving at the front! He was very welcoming and invited me and my mate inside (I was told that Xensations is "the place to be").
When you eventually get to the bar (there is a massive vestibule area with only a stairlift and toilets - a slight waste of space), it is visually stunning. There was a nice vibe to the place and all the seats were taken - people were having to stand by the bar with their drinks. The clientelle were a mix of upper-class, eccentric hippes; trendy, middleaged groups; and uber-trendy young whipper snappers with a piece of silk covering their modesties.
The drinks prices were better than \i anticpated, and the staff were very pleasant. It did seem that there was a large number of the owners friends/family bopping around though (maybe they need a few more punters).
The main plus for me though, was that this place had live jazz - a great change from the same old, same old music you get everywhere else in Reading. The artists were talented and seemed to be enjoying themselves (please refrain from the pianist solo next time though!). The singer was very talented BUT a word of warning.....She has easy access to all the punters in this place due to it's size, and wandered over to the back trying to get people to sing a line of her song (SCARY!).
The employee who showed me and my friend in, said that they are open every other Sunday (hence the date on my blog). I would definately reccomend people to go and check it out anyhow - I welcome new drinking holes (especially independent ones).
They definately need a website to post event details on for their punters though......"
(Rated 7 out of 10)
Suzi visited in November 2007
"brilliant place- u must go for the food upstairs too....downstairs is perfect to have a party espiecially the vip where different music can be played, its a good bar to go to but u can tell its not for any scummy looking crowd even though the drinks are resonably priced so guys dress to impress cause the ladies were looking luscious.I reckon its the perfect place to take a date, eat upstairs then jus go downstairs for a few in a dark modern bar (with a skyline picture!) plus the service was second to none. It isnt to busy but as its nx to barrisa maybe in given time it will get busier but def one for the future, ill be there quite regurlarly now.."
(Rated 9 out of 10)
Dan visited in October 2007
Average Visitor Score: 8.67 out of 10
The following pubs are within stumbling distance of this establishment:
- Afroba Merchant's Place, RG1 1DT
- Allied Arms St Marys Butts, RG1 2LG
- Bar Risa Friar Street, RG1 1EP
- Bugle Friar Street, RG1 1EX
- Café du Sport St Mary's Butts, RG1 2LG
- Elements Novatel Hotel, Friar Street, RG1 1DP
- Honey Pot Friar Street, RG1 1EP
- Hope Tap Friar Street, RG1 1EP
- La Tasca Bar St Mary's Butts, RG1 2LG
- Malmaison Station Road, RG1 1JX
- Orange House Oxford Road, RG1 7LA
- Revolution Station Road, RG1 1JX
- Sweeney and Todd Castle Street, RG1 7ND
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