The Refurbishment

26 November

The Retreat - exterior nearly finished

Things are definitely taking shape at The Retreat. If you’ve wandered past in the last couple of days you will have noticed that the chimney is back, the exterior is nearly finished and the signs are up.

The Retreat - exterior nearly finished

Thanks to Clair Price for the arty photos (you’ve got a new job, Clair!).

The brewery designed the new hanging sign and we quite like it.

Progress on the interior of The Retreat is just as exciting. The flooring is down in the front bar and the back bar.

Most of the contractors will be leaving us at the end of this week. There will still be some trades visiting to do work. Thank you to all the residents in the immediate area for being so friendly to the Underhills team and for putting up with the pressures on parking.

Today’s news of new tougher tiers is a set-back for pubs throughout the UK. It does mean, as Reading is Tier 2, that our opening will be delayed as we don’t serve ‘substantial food’. Apparently, Mini Cheddars don’t cut it. We would actually have struggled with opening anywhere near 3 December as we still have a lot to finish. The challenge for us is being compounded as some of our suppliers are struggling to deliver some essential items to us.

21 November

The new bar top has been installed. New flooring has been scattered laid. The scaffolding has been removed.

Great progress is being made by the team from Underhills. But, there is a lot still to do.

10 November 2020

Progress and discoveries! The work continues at an impressive pace at The Retreat.

Signs and safety matter. The front bar is receiving a lot of care and attention. The single operating front door is a bit of a pinch-point, but you can just see the black plastic cover over the new roll of carpet. The ordering of materials has been brought forward to try and prevent any problems with merchants closing down for any reason.

The Retreat - refurbishments to the front bar

The back bar has more space to swing things around, but it is still a little tight with all the activity.

The Retreat - refurbishments to the back bar

But look at this find! The wallpaper on the wall has been uncovered from a long time ago. Look at it close up…

The Retreat - old wallpaper found during the bar refurbishments


Click here to see a great photo of this wallpaper c1986.

And talking of things on the wall…look at this list of phone numbers. When did the County Arms and The King’s Tavern close down?

The Retreat - phone numbers on the wall

The first and second floor accomodation areas are also being refurbished. Here’s the current view from the first floor front window.

The Retreat - refurbishments - view over St John's Street

5 November 2020

In an attempt to keep the music going at The Retreat, here we have The Scaffolds and The Doors.

The scaffolding is to provide safe access the roof to deal with the chimney that is badly in need of repair.

As you can see from the photo below, this chimney either needs some love and affection or demolishing!

The Retreat - old chimney

The paintbrushes are out! The new secondary doors on the front of the pub have already had a lick of paint. Luke: take note of the progress and techniques.

4 November 2020

And a new door has been hung.

3 November 2020

Those of you familiar with The Retreat may have noticed a second front door. This hasn’t been open for many years. Originally it was a stable type door and provided a serving hatch for off-sales to locals buying beer.

In the photo above you can see the door has been opened and removed.

2 November 2020

Work is continuing apace at The Retreat. This was to allow us to open again in November. The latest lockdown has put the kibosh on that! We are now planning on an opening date in December subject to government guidelines and rules.

The project has reached that stage where as much stuff seems to be coming out of the front door as is going in.

The Retreat 20201029 refurbishment

Work is currently going on in three different areas. Here is the back of the pub where a lot of structural work is going on.

And let’s scotch this rumour straight away, The Retreat will be The Retreat when it reopens. The name on the fascia has been removed as part of the refurbishments. We are not about be renamed the Train Station or All Bar Decent Beer.

The Retreat - 20201130 - front elevation

27 October 2020

We closed our doors on Thursday 22 October 2020 for our refurbishment. We will be reopening in November 2020 but we can’t confirm the precise date yet.

It’s goodbye to the old carpet…

That was one of the first things to go…

During this much overdue refurbishment, we will keep you posted about the progress and the opening date on this page and via our website, Facebook and Twitter.

In the meantime, do please visit our friends at the local pubs in the beer triangleThe Lyndhurst and the Weather Station.