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Wishing Well
Oxford Road, RG30 1AD
Reviewed On: 11 Nov 2004
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Public Houses in Reading
Berkshire, England.
Previous Names: Newt and Cucumber, T.P. Woods, Proverbial, Barracuda Bar
Friar Street, Reading, Berkshire, RG1 1DB
0.17 miles from Reading station [Map]
Final Score: 5.0 out of 10
Steve's Score:2.5 (Out of 5)
Gray's Grade:2.5 (Out of 5)
Steve Supped:Brakspear Bitter
Gray Gulped:Brakspear Bitter
Garden / Facilities:Recently done up inside, so all very new and shiny with lots of bright paint. Pub downstairs, bogs upstairs, and no outside area. Still very dark - aimed at going out and getting hammered in the evening. Sorted.

22 September 2005

Nice carpet! I've increased my score a bit since we were in here shortly after the most recent name change and refurb. I mean that really is a nice carpet, but it won't stay that way! The walls are a much more serious green colour now and the place is attempting to be a bit more stylish than before despite the same patrons. Lots of brown leather seating going on, and what looked like a decent food menu. Really much more pleasant than when it was the Barracuda bar, when it was quite frankly a bit shit, wasn't it? G.
Your language is atrocious!! But yes it was pants! Much better now although still nothing to get excited about. Indeed, nice carpet and also nice mirrors with all that gilt!! and some nice veneer cladding too. Still don't think I'll be back but check out the savings that can be made with the V card as it seems like a good deal. S.

10 June 2004

Very brightly coloured. Yellow and green on the outside and red on the inside. Good place to meet someone as you just can't miss the place. Very cold though - someone turn that air conditioning down! Big tables and big chairs. This is without doubt the ideal pub for tall people that like bright colours and staying cool. G.
I should say, just look how far my feet are from the floor and I'm over 6 foot! I have to say though, a much nicer place since it has been taken over as a Barracuda Bar but still nothing very special. We were there after work for a swifty though which I guess isn't the best time to make a judgement as it may well be banging on a bigin' it up type stylee on a Friday or Saturday night! Wicked! S MAN.
But Steve, you weren't sitting at one of the high tables in that picture... G.
I'm not a midget ok. I may be only average height but let's face it, good things come in small packages. I'm not saying my package is small though!! Umm, I think I better shut up now. S.


The Brakspear was very rough to say the least. Lets say that beer isn't this pubs strong point. Stick to the Stella I guess. G.
Let's face it, the Brakspear was a bit basic but after half we were both starting to quite like it! Good choice though Graham , I'll have a Stella while you're there. S.
Now the pub has changed from a Barracuda Bar to a Varsity, the Brakspear has gone and the selection is just as poor. John Smiths and Worthingtons. No thanks. Stick to the lager. Luckily (!?!) this re-visit was alcohol free for me due to some crazy idea. G.
He had a coke!! can you believe that - what a POOF! Coors for me as that was about all I could bring myself to drink. S.

VISITOR FEEDBACK [Give Your Feedback]

"Good bar and excellent food, plays alot of Hip Hop and RnB which isn't for me and attracts a few chavs but its ideal for starting a night I think. V Card is a great idea."
(Rated 7 out of 10)
Ben visited in July 2007

(Rated 6 out of 10)
STEVE visited in November 2006

"This is a good bar. I advise anyone to pick up a V card to take advantage of cheap drinks"
(Rated 7 out of 10)
Craig Beazley visited in September 2006

"This bar is def in my top 5 its a wikid bar. The doormen are okay the manager is wikid and so are the bar staff. They know how to have a laff and share it with the punters. Its a great place to have a laff and it isnt too expensive which is good coz sum of us arnt exactly"
(Rated 10 out of 10)
lorna visited in June 2006

"It has cleaned up since its now varsity. when it was TP woods I loved it to be honest i knew everyone there loads of women but i was 18 and i loved anypub in Reading, but I soon got wiser and it was dirty & full of chav's, music's not to bad though. Ther were a few fights as i can remember when it was TP woods, been to varsity once or twice its just always dead!!"
(Rated 4 out of 10)
Paul Howarth visited in April 2006

"I used to go to the Barracuda nearly every Saturday and thought it was brill but since its changed, yet again, I think it's shit."
(Rated 2 out of 10)
Carole visited in January 2006

"I now work at the new Varsity bar, and it is a million times better than any of he pubs before it."
Simon visited in September 2005

"I love the barracuda bar! I'm not a chav or over 35. Since the change of management last year the door staff have changed so there are no 12 year olds getting in. The violence is just a myth I come in here every weekend and have only witnessed 1 piece of violence in the last 6 weeks. I have seen more violence in the neighbouring pubs. The beer is cold the staff are friendly. It plays good music and it's free to get in, unlike other venues where you pay a fiver for the same music and the extra hour of drinking time, the Barracuda is in my top 5 pubs in Reading."
Richard visited in June 2005

"This was my HQ when living in Reading, although I liked it better before the refit and name change. It gets slagged for some of the punters that use it but I always found the staff to be friendly and I personally never had any trouble when i used it."
Daz visited in June 2005

"I know a little about the Barracuda Group, including that they have a chain of university based bars called Varsity. Reading university... 11500 students and a huge college! Doesn't take a genius to work out with a little thought, this bar could have been so much better! We're in England not South Africa."
Aidie visited in May 2005

"Welcome to Chavland!"
Dave visited in May 2005

"This is possibly the worst bar in the country! If you're female avoid it. I won't go there ever again and wouldn't recommend it to anyone else either."
Angel visited in May 2005

"Was better when it was the Proverbial. Has suffered in recent times due to major local pubs, Ice, Revolution, Bar Risa to name a few... always did good food. Good place to watch big football matches."
John visited in April 2005

"To add to the list of previous faces of Barracuda, it was also a Newt & Cucumber after it was T.P. Woods, and before becoming the Proverbial. Enjoyable place as a youngster, but you'll soon grow out of it."
Marcus visited in April 2005

"The names of this place that I can remember are: T.P. Woods, The Proverbial, and now Barracuda Bar. And that is in order!"
Bethany visited in April 2005

"The only thing of interest about this dump is that it's had more names in a shorter time than any pub within 50 miles. Can anyone remember them all (in order)?"
Stuart visited in January 2005

"The ideal place to be if you are underage or simply want a fight."
Clare visited in November 2004

"This has to be the worst pub in Reading. I used to go there when I was 15 as it was so easy to get in to if you wore a short enough skirt. Now that I'm of age, I don't go near it, because all the girls are proper tarts, and the blokes, who line the entire dance floor and just stare, are all disgusting. A few of my male mates like to drag us in ocasionally because the music can be ok, but I haven't spent more than 5 minutes in there for at least 3 years. If you're a lady, and aren't out for a shag with an old bloke, don't go near it."
Tara visited in November 2004

"Awful pub full of chav scum who have nothing better to do than kick each others heads in"
Colin visited in September 2004

Average Visitor Score: 6.00 out of 10


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Varsity Pub (Reading, Berkshire)
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