Closed for 200 Days

The Retreat - exterior nearly finished

Do you realise, it is 200 days since we closed our doors at The Retreat for our refurbishment?

When we unlock the doors in a weeks time, on Monday 17 May 2021, we will have been closed for 6 months and 25 days. None of us expected it to be this long.

We are looking forward to welcoming back our friends and regulars to see the refreshed Retreat. It’s more than a lick of paint; the place is looking great…and it’s still very much The Retreat.

If you’ve been missing the pleasures of fine real ale, do look in and see us next week. And, if your preference is a glass of wine, check out our wine list with three recommended red wines and some equally enjoyable white wines. But, we have not become a wine bar! The Retreat is proud to continue its tradition of serving good real ales to the local community.

To help you plan your visit, we’ve extended our opening hours at The Retreat. We look forward to seeing you, when we can say cheers again, and start a new chapter in the history of The Retreat pub in Reading.

The Retreat in the Eighties

Here are some wonderful old photos of The Retreat in the 80s.

The Retreat, summer 1983
The Retreat, summer 1983
The Retreat, summer 1983
The Retreat, summer 1983
The Retreat, summer 1983
The Retreat, summer 1983
The Retreat, summer 1983
The Retreat, summer 1983. We think that’s George Scott on the roof.
The Retreat, August 1983 - Callum, Liam and Bob in the foreground
The Retreat, August 1983 – Callum, Liam and Bob in the foreground.
The Retreat, August 1984
The Retreat, August 1984
The Retreat, May 1986
The Retreat, August 1984
The Retreat, May 1986
The Retreat, May 1986
Postcard (picture) to Mr and Mrs G Scott at The Retreat pub in Reading, August 1986
The Retreat, August 1986 – postcard

We’re Planning on Reopening.

Blue Monday at The Retreat pub in Reading

When on earth was it we locked our doors for the refurbishment? It was ages ago. We expected and hoped to be reopen again before Christmas. As we all know, circumstances required all pubs to close.

Following Boris Johnson’s announcement earlier this week we are now working towards opening our doors w/c 17 May 2021. This may change but it is the date we are working to…and the beer order is being compiled!

Harveys Sussex Best Bitter

Already, in an optimistic and positive fashion, we are booking up live music for June onwards. We are also keen to make sure we get great jazz scheduled again; Stuart Henederson and Simon Price are already booked for June.

PS: It was Thursday 22 October we closed. That will make it a closure of 207 days.

We’re Open This Weekend

building work danger

Pop in and see us this week, we will be open Wednesday to Sunday. This is your chance to see The Retreat before we set about our refurbishment. Click here for our opening hours.

I wanted to update you about the refurbishment plans at The Retreat. We will be locking our door at the close of business on Thursday 22 October and work to refurbish the pub will commence on Monday 26 October 2020. NB, there is a small chance these dates could vary.

We’ve got lots to get done, from the chimney right down to the bars and the toilets. Our contractors feel confident that everything can be completed in four weeks. You can keep up to date on the progress via our website at where there will be regular updates.

Brian Moignard and The Retreat Team

Are Pubs Affected by Yesterday’s Announcement?


The quick answer, for The Retreat, is no.

The announcement yesterday that people can only meet in groups of up to six was ambiguous with regards to its impact on pubs.

The good news is that a Government spokesperson this morning explained, “Pubs and restaurants will be allowed to have more than 30 people on the premises provided Covid-19 secure guidelines are being followed and other social distancing measures are still in place. This includes limiting those at a table to groups from a maximum of two households. Pubs and other hospitality venues are not subject to the 30-person limit because they have put measures in place to be Covid-secure.

It’s all happening in St John’s Street

Luke Kendrick

Luke Kendrick heard about the refurbishment plans for The Retreat. Like a good neighbour, he didn’t want to let the street down and he set about decorating his own front door.

Our plans for the works at The Retreat should be finalised and agreed with the contractors next week. The project has already been approved by the Brewery.

At the moment, we expect to be closing in the second half of September for about four weeks. We will be able to provide more precise dates soon.

Preserving the Heritage

What work will be carried out? Well, we don’t want to give away too much at the moment, but the carpet is going, the toilets will dramatically change and there are many more things on the list as well.

We are proud that The Retreat is a Real Heritage Pub in the eyes of CAMRA and we will be ensuring that the essential character of the pub will be preserved.

Lost Property

lost property at The Retreat pub in Reading

If any of the clothing above is yours, now is a good time to collect it.