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London Road, RG1 5BJ
Reviewed On: 15 Dec 2004
Public Houses in Reading
Yates's Wine Lodge
Previous Names / Status:
Friar Street, Reading, Berkshire, RG1 1DB
0.17 miles from Reading station
|Steve's Score:||3.5 (Out of 5)|
|Gray's Grade:||3 (Out of 5)|
|Gray Gulped:||San Miguel, Caledonian Deuchars IPA|
|Garden / Facilities:||A decent sun trap patio garden round the back complete with sand pit. Pub on two floors with balcony upstairs and outside seating. Outside bar wasn't open though.|
8 August 2007
Another re-visit, and another re-brand. This place is desperate to keep up with the other chain pubs in town. It was one of the first of its types all those years ago, and it's still up there with them (if you like this kind of forumla). Actually do they still have "wine lodge" in the title? I doubt it - way too 1990's. They certainly try hard to keep up with the times, and on this attempt they've done a pretty good job. Neon lights are out (way too 2004!), and soft burgundys and quilted fabrics are in (so 2007 darling!). Lovely. Actually it now reminds me a lot of the Oakford Social Club. With smoking ban in place, it might last a little longer this time. The whole place is actually in top top condition at the time of writing. Despite trying to keep up with the trendy pubs, they also offer a nice cheap food menu now. A S-Man noted - almost like a Wetherspoons pub with their good value deals. There's a couple of good beers in here now as well. Actually, this pub can't quite decide what it wants to be now, and I'm not sure either. Not bad though. I really wasn't sure, but I've upped my 2.5 to a 3 to reward them for a better range of drinks and a much improved interior. Not sure if they really deserve that or not though. G.|
Bloody hell mate, you are getting very efficient at this updating lark! I’m guessing you meant ‘tip top’ and not ‘top top’ by the way. Either way, you’re right, it is in ‘top top’ condition and very sensible timing to refurb as soon as the S-Ban came in. It’s a shame really, I was kinda hoping this revisit would see me lowering the score and bringing Yates’ (the Wine Lodge tag is definitely no longer) down the full list table a bit but it just wouldn’t be fair. Ok – so it will lose it’s glossy sheen after a few months but it is at least as good as it was the last time they tarted it up a bit! As G said, it is almost cameleon like in its dress sense and really can’t afford to stand still with new bars that continue to open in the town centre. That’s just they way it is these days with ‘bars’. It makes you realise why the drinks are so pricey though – it must cost a bomb to do up a place this size. Yes, it’s very now and very much like the Oakford, et al so it should keep it going for a while longer. Back in 2010 to see what the latest trend is G-Man? S.
Oh, no gravel floor any longer by the way. Oh well, nothing lests for ever!
25 June 2004
One of the first of the chain pubs to hit Reading all those years back and quickly got eclipsed by a million places that were miles better. Since then Yates turned into the place from hell as far as I remember it with an aging clientele, but now they've done the place up and made it extra glitzy. If you're into neon lights, gravel floors, expensive posh brand lager, and general all-round snazziness then Yates could be back on your boozing map. Couldn't judge what it might be like in the evening though as this was a lunch time visit. Still feels a bit nasty though - the real selling point is the outside bar and patio. G.|
I think the real selling point is the gravel floor inside! Crazy man - it's like someone has laid a driveway in the middle of the pub. Nice blue neon lights set into the high tables as well and it is miles better than it was before being refurbed. The patio is the winner at lunch time though and we were the only ones out there that day! I reckon this place is still a proper crazy town meat merket on the weekend which means unless you are seriously on the pull you will be going somewhere else. I used to work here when it opened by the way, but that was a long time ago now. I think the managers name was Keith at the time but he has long since gone. A bit of useless info for you there. S.
Much improved! They now offer two cask ales - Caledonian's Deuchars IPA and London Pride. I wasn't sure how they'd end up serving the IPA but it was actually a very good pint. Slipped down a treat. Add to that a very wide range of standard drinks and a whole stack of different bottled world beers in the fridge and it's hard to get upset. G.|
It was a shocker to see London Pride on and although it's not everyone's favourite, it's a proper beer, on a hand pump in a bar like Yates' - The Beer Revolution is stepping up me a pace me thinks! Maybe when we are back in 2010 there will be a whole raft of delicious ales to choose from! Maybe not! S.
The following applies to the original review in June 2004:
No real ales at all. But a big range of mainstream style lagers and beers. Spoilt for choice if you're not fussy about proper beer - Boddingtons, Worthingtons, John Smiths, Carling, Stella, San Miguel and Amstel - and that's just from memory. The beer is all that cream flow business with huge frothy heads, but the lager slipped down a treat in the sunshine. Be careful though if you're not going for one of the cheap "standard" drinks - £2.90 for a pint of posh lager seems a bit steep for a place like Yates. G.
Indeed 2.85 for my posh pint and that's a bargain at this establishment! Good memory G-Man with the selection of beers available, plenty of them too to keep any lager drinker quiet for ages. S.
(Rated 4 out of 10)
visited in October 2007
"Visited this pub last Saturday whilst the missus was shopping. The pub had as many staff as customers. Ordered some chips, saw them delivered to the serving shelf and sit there for 15 minutes whilst bar staff were busy chatting. Eventually received them - stone cold. Beer was also expensive and they attempted to charge me a pund more than they should have done. £3.95 for a bottle of Grolsch.....erm.....not quite. Anyway, I don't mind beer being expensive if the establishment warrants it. This place doesn't."
Average Visitor Score: 4.00 out of 10
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- Oakford Social Club Blagrave Street, RG1 1PZ
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