Saving The Retreat

Reading most famous ‘back street boozer’ has been saved from an uncertain future by three local residents.

Dave Gray, Di Whitaker and Mark Birmingham, all long-term residents of ‘The Village’ Eldon Street Conservation Area, moved quickly last week to secure the suddenly available lease from Admiral Taverns and make safe their Landlord Brian Moignard.

Mark said, “Brian Moignard has been instrumental to the continued success of The Retreat.  Both Brian and The Retreat are dear to us all; to lose both was untenable. Dave suggested we secure the tenancy for the pub and we immediately agreed. None of us has substantial experience of the on-trade, so we’ll be relying on Brian’s extensive experience to guide us.”

The trio aims to make some subtle changes to the pub but vow not to lose the character of The Retreat which has become a Reading institution. They urge the local community to visit soon. The legendary Pickled Onion Contest, the popular Village Easter Festival and live music are all events that are guaranteed to continue.

The Village has three pubs: The Retreat, whose future has been secured by Dave, Di and Mark; The Lyndhurst which has just reopened with a good new team and The Eldon Arms which is scheduled to open this autumn under new ownership.

Dave and Di, noted local musicians, joked they are inadvertently The Retreat house band; in fact, their band will be performing live on Sunday 25 August with Hugh Crabtree’s PIG warming the house up on Saturday 24 August.

The Retreat featured on BBC Radio Berkshire

The No17 bus crosses Reading, its route runs from Tilehurst to The Three Tuns. Bill Buckley from BBC Radio Berkshire travelled the route on Wednesday 10 July 2019 and visited places of interest on the way. One of his stops was at The Retreat.

You can hear the full three-hour show from this link: https://www.bbc.co.uk/sounds/play/p07f3x1y. The piece on The Retreat starts at 2hr 18m.

Alternatively, you can listen to the clip saved here as an MP3 file:

The Retreat featured on BBC Radio Berkshire.