‘Pop in to The Blagrave for a pint and chat’By Alan Bunce
October 20, 2010
A new era has begun for one of the town centre’s traditional pubs – by going back to basics.
The Blagrave Arms in Blagrave Street was closed in July after its licence was suspended. It had trouble with fights and twice failed test purchases by 15-year-olds who were not asked for ID.
Now the pub has been reopened by Sam Scott, a former chef at the Leander Club at Henley, who more recently held managerial roles at Giraffe in The Oracle, Zero Degrees in Reading town centre and the George and Dragon at Wargrave.
He has got rid of the TVs, fruit machines, jukebox and pool table and wants to return the pub to its traditional image as a friendly place to drink with an open fire, newspapers, homemade rolls and snacks, such as pork scratchings from a local butcher, and four real ales, two of which will be local.
He promises great wines, ciders and lagers but no Fosters, Stella or alcopops.
Former Chiltern Edge student Mr Scott, 25, submitted his plans to owner Trust Inns which liked his ideas, and he has already had positive comments from new customers.
He said: “It was quite a daunting task, especially when I got into the building. It was in quite a state.
“But lots of people have been popping in from Apex Plaza and they have been happy that we are open and it’s a lot cleaner.”
He plans quizzes, board games and a darts team, and there may be occasional live music.
The pub opens every day from noon. Members of CAMRA have been in and liked the new image.
Mr Scott said: “The town is crying out for somewhere that is just a nice pub. Friar Street is great for students and that’s great for partying, dancing and whatever but there aren’t many places where older people can go for a nice drink on a Friday night.”