Once upon a time this was a Firkin and it still has some of the Firkinís youngish, grungyish, fun vibe, even if the decor has changed somewhat. Itís a big old place, but is roughly divided into different sections- dining tables in one bit, comfy battered old sofas in another and so on. Itís often used as a live music venue, so check their website before visiting if you do/donít want this. Very unusual burger menu which includes Nik Naks and Monster Munch amongst the available toppings. There are still 3 cask ales, and unfortunately one of them is still Doom Bar, but in a sign of the times theyíve recently changed some of their keg and bottle offering to UK craft beers, including Siren and some of the London micros. Nothing too unusual but still nice to see. Overall itís a pretty decent venue (if a little pricey by Reading standards) but I still miss the Firkin. *sigh*
AMBIANCE 4/5 SERVICE 6/10 SELECTION 8/15 FOOD N/A VALUE 7/10 OVERALL 13/20
Visited on Friday 26th October at around 8.30pm and the place was pretty packed with a lively and youngish crowd. This venue has an American diner style vibe about it. The food menu by the kitchen is white letters on a black pin board. The food looked really good - gourmet burgers and the like and you can watch the food being prepared through a hatch in the middle of the pub!
On the beer side 3 real ales via cask dispense, the ubiquitous Doom Bar and guests from Wharfe Bank and St Austell on this visit allied to a number of overseas taps with a few more interesting ones than your average bar.
Bottled selection was also more interesting than the average bar with imports from Flying Dog, Brooklyn and Goose Island as well as a few Belgian numbers.
Bang opposite Reading station and whilst not a destination venue somewhere to check out as an alternative to the Three Guineas and if you want to grab a quick bite to eat Iíd highly reccomend it (having salivated over the burgers I saw coming out of the kitchen!).
Also worth mentioning that for me this was a girlfriend friendly venue as they do well made and relatively cheap cocktails which made my girlfriend want to come back here again!