A pub in Reading that has been closed for years is set to be knocked down and replaced with a drive-thru Greggs.

The George & Dragon off Bath Road is a Greene King pub that was run as a Hungry Horse family restaurant.

But the pub has been closed since the pandemic in March 2020 and never reopened.

Now the building will be demolished and replaced with a drive-thru Greggs.

Greene King Commercial Investments had attempted to either sell or let out the pub with Savills estate agents both before and after its closure, but no offers were made.

In a viability report written by Kevin Marsh, the director of Savills, pointed out that there are 13 pubs within 2.1 miles of the George & Dragon.

Mr Marsh assessed that it would cost £1.173 million (£1,173,600) to reopen the pub as it would require refurbishment.

Additionally, he calculated start-up costs at £246,550, with an estimated total cost to being the George & Dragon back into use of £1.412 million.

READ MORE: Reading pubs that sadly closed in 2023 

Mr Marsh concluded: “The Property relied heavily on trade from the local community however given the strong local competition, trade steadily declined.

Ultimately, Greene King made the decision to close the pub as this option lost less money than keeping the pub open.

“The property would require a comprehensive refurbishment in order to re-open.

“However, the costs are so significantly in excess of what a new pub business could afford, a pub operator or investor alongside a pub tenant would not regard such an investment as sensible or viable.”

Ultimately, Greene King Commercial Investments decided to partner with Greggs to build a drive-thru cafe in its place.

READ MORE: The Reading pubs that are an asset to the communities they are in 

The project was approved by James Crosbie, the council’s assistant director of planning, transport and regulatory services.

It will involve the demolition of the existing buildings and the construction of a single-storey building with site adjustments to facilitate a drive-thru.

The facility will have 33 car parking spaces. of those, two will be disabled accessible, two will be waiting bays and 10 will be reserved for electric cars.

Reading Chronicle: The approved site plan for the Greggs Drive Thru at the former George & Dragon pub off the Bath Road in Reading. Credit: JDAThe approved site plan for the Greggs Drive Thru at the former George & Dragon pub off the Bath Road in Reading. Credit: JDA

The application reference 230471 was approved on December 21, 2023.

There are currently six Greggs bakeries in Reading Borough, and three within the town centre.

The Greggs in West Street closed last year.

A plan by Cube Real Estate to build a drive-thru Greggs was refused by the council’s planning applications committee in September 2022.

That plan is the subject of an appeal.

The Greggs replacing the George & Dragon would be the second bakery on a pub site, with the chain taking over the Wellington Arms in Katesgrove in 2019.