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.
Good news. We now have a couple of tables for four people in the back bar. After reviewing how the pub has been operating, it’s been decided that it’s appropriate to slightly increase the seating capacity and that has allowed us to configure the seating to allow for a couple of tables for four.
Saturday 8 August 2020: 12.00 to 22.00 Sunday 9 August 2020: 12.00 – 20.00
Saturday 22 August we will be reopening operating to our normal opening hours. These may be adjusted based on our learning this weekend and other circumstances. Check our opening hours.
Closing for Refurbishment
We have done some temporary work in the pub over the last few weeks which allows us to open the doors again but, as many of you know, we’ve been wanting to do a lot more and now we can tell you in outline.
The brewery has agreed on a capital expenditure plan to provide The Retreat with a much-needed refurbishment. Originally, we were targeting to do this in the first quarter of the year, but circumstances got in the way. This work will be to the benefit of everyone, but it does mean we will have to temporarily close again.
Therefore, we will be closing circa 13 September 2020 for a major refurbishment. The precise date is to be agreed with our contractors. We estimate the works will take around three weeks, but again, this is to be confirmed.
The Retreat has been added to the heritage pub guide published by the Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA). The Retreat is the only pub in Reading to be included.
Britain’s Historic Pub Interiors, a part of CAMRA, lists unspoilt pubs and is the definitive guide to the nation’s most important historic pub interiors and the best historic examples we have left.
This list has been compiled by CAMRA’s Pub Heritage Group and is the product of over thirty years of careful research. It identifies pubs with intact traditional interiors, or which have features and rooms of national importance.
‘As a period of great uncertainty for the nation’s pubs hopefully comes to a close, it’s a real delight to release the final instalment of the Real Heritage Pub guide series.
‘This guide highlights the best-preserved pubs across the South East region, allowing you to experience pub history even if you’re unable to visit them in person right now. It also champions the need to celebrate, understand and protect the genuine pub heritage we have left.’
Gasping for a pint? Well, we’d love to be hosting you again really soon.
The government has now indicated that pubs can start reopening on Saturday 4 July. At The Retreat, we will not be in a position to open on 4 July as we need to make arrangements to ensure we can operate safely and look after you, our customers, in line with all the rules and guidelines. Additionally, we need to get beer back in the cellar and prepared for sale.
Many independent and chain/brewery owned pubs are also planning to open later than 4 July. They cite the short notice and consumer confidence as issues for their own decisions. Less than a fortnight’s notice is indeed a tall order for many to prepare for re-opening against a developing set of rules and guidelines.
Boris Johnson said on 23 June that pubs, bars, cafes and restaurants in England would be able to reopen on 4 July. He also announced that two-metre social distancing would be relaxed to “one metre plus”, with some conditions. But despite the easing of restrictions, a trip to a local bar or place to eat could be a very different experience from how it was before the coronavirus outbreak.