People in Earley have had their say about what they would like to see in place of the closed Earley Retreat pub in Reading.

The Earley Retreat has been closed since the first lockdown and is currently being marketed as ‘to let’ by chartered surveyors James A Baker.

Although the pub restaurant’s owning company Mitchells & Butlers have said that it will be keeping hold of the pub and is ‘assessing all available options for its future’,  that hasn’t stopped neighbours in Lower Earley speculating about what the pub could become.

Suggestions for the transformation of the pub were posted on the Earley Residents Discussion Board Facebook page.

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Debi Khan said she would like to see the Earley Retreat become a Harvester.

The Earley Retreat was run as a ‘Sizzling pub’, which is a brand owned by Mitchells & Butlers.

The Harvester pub brand is also owned by Mitchells & Butlers, so there could be scope to convert it if and when a new operator is found.

The is currently a Harvester pub in Reading, The Mansion House in Liebenrood Road, Prospect Park, Tilehurst.

The next closest Harvester is the Horse & Groom in Bracknell, which is a Grade II listed building.

Mitchells & Butlers owns a number of other pub and bar brands as well, including Miller & Carter steakhouses, All Bar One, Browns restaurants, Toby Carvery and O’Neill’s.

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Others want something ‘a bit more upmarket’ to take over the space.

Penny Carter said: “A Bosco Lounge type place would be really nice.”

Bosco Lounge is located in Woodley town centre and is part of the larger Lounges brand, which has more than 100 locations in the UK.

It also runs the Alto Lounge in Caversham and the Sedero Lounge in Wokingham.

Lounges have become known for all-day dining and family-friendly atmosphere.

Louise Duffy suggested that a Sprinkles Gelato or other ice cream parlour open. She said: “It be great if it could be something like a Sprinkles & do smoothies, somewhere for the teens to hang out.”

Sprinkles Gelato at Cemetery Junction in East Reading has been closed for some time, with the building due to reopen as a Fat Twins ‘burger bar’ and Kaspa’s Ice Cream parlour.

Other neighbours suggested that the pub could be converted into a wine bar or a curry house.

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Meanwhile, Chris Flinders said he wanted to see CeX take over the unit.

CeX buys and sells CDs, DVDs,  video games and digital devices including mobile phones, laptops and tablets.

There is a currently a CeX in Friar Street, Reading town centre.

For now, the Earley Retreat remains on the market.