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Friar Street, RG1 1EX
Reviewed On: 15 Jun 2004
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Public Houses in Reading
Berkshire, England.
Coopers Arms
Previous Names:
Market Place, Reading, Berkshire, RG1 2DE
0.27 miles from Reading station [Map]
Final Score: 4.5 out of 10
Steve's Score:2 (Out of 5)
Gray's Grade:2.5 (Out of 5)
Steve Supped:Adnams Bitter
Gray Gulped:Adnams Bitter
Garden / Facilities:No outdoors

9 July 2004

This pub has to win the bar fly award - for the sheer quantity that are always flying around the pub whatever the season. Having been in here a few times its always the same and from previous experiences I'd suggest you don't bother with the food here. It's also a bit smelly for some unknown reason, not sure of the source, although you do get the occasional tramp in the area. Not that I'm saying tramps are smelly, although obviously they are. The service wasn't the snappiest either since the bar was empty. Anyway, moving on to the plus points. Nice flowers on the outside, decent beer available inside and you'll always get a seat. Not a bad pub in the centre of town but missing a certain je ne sais quoi. Mais, oui, mon petit amis. Avez vous le bier? G.
What a prat! But yes, that's reminded me of that funny smell that kept on wafting passed. Funny how none of us mentinoed it at the time. Probably just in case we thought it was one of us, but much more likely to be a tramp! Come to this pub if you like flies, or funny smells and that's about it I think. Not much else here to bring you back. In a town full of pubs and bars I get the feeling they really aren't even trying. S.

December 2004 update!
They've just redone the place to tidy it up - still looks very similar on the inside but on the outside there's some serious blue lighting, which means you can see the pub from miles away! (see picture 3)


Tasty pint of Adnams - would have gone for the Old Speckled Hen but as this was a lunch time beer went for the weak one. I'm a sensible kind of guy. The flies like it just as much I did as the buggers kept landing in it. G.
Same experience and can't mention enough how annoying the flies were! Beer was decent enough though but i'm afraid I cannot mention what else was on offer as I wasn't really paying attention. Sorry about that! S.

VISITOR FEEDBACK [Give Your Feedback]

"Used to use this pub in the seventies and it was o.k. I have learned from my spies in another part of England that the reason for the flies at the Coopers is the mountain of rotting pigeon carcasses in the flats above the living accommodation. Most of the roof is missing apparently. I think we should be told. A visit from a health insector might just be a start."
(Rated 4 out of 10)
sid visited in February 2010

"Strange pub this. Its set in a really old building with some interesting features, like the 17thC woodwork and old internal courtyard. For most of the year it's a bit low rent, with not so nice clientele (witnessed a rather nasty racial incident once) and the bar staff have a lot of tattoos between them, but go at Christmas and the place is transformed wih tinsel and decorations, seemingly on every wall, shelf and ceiling of the pub. It has become a regualr stop on our Xmas Reading pub crawl for the decorations alone."
(Rated 6 out of 10)
Patrick Randell visited in December 2008

"If you want real ale avoid this place like the plague ! I like the feel and atmosphere of the place which is why I'm daft enough to go back periodically, but almost every time I do one of both of the ales are off and/or rank. Last time I went (18/05/2005) the Speckled Hen tasted like TCP (pipes not flushed ?) and the Adnams was awful (I come from Suffolk but have had many a decent pint this far south so there's no excuse). I hear this is actually an Adnams pub which is truly shocking."
Andy Stone visited in May 2005

"I used to visit this pub often, before it went downhill! Its a shame really.. being a Cooper myself I had rather hoped that the interior of my namesake had improved marginally when they redid the pub-front. No such luck! The bar staff are always friendly, and hopefully that won't change, but I honestly hope that there are plans afoot to upgrade the interior in the near future to match the exterior... or at least replace the tables!""
Mischief visited in January 2005

Average Visitor Score: 5.00 out of 10


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Coopers Arms Pub (Reading, Berkshire)
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