Mr Fueled by Beer has very mixed feelings about this post. Back in his youth the Bear Inn was one of Tilehurst’s better pubs. Imagine his horror when he learned that the Bear had closed, sat vacant for some years, then reopened as a Thai takeaway, only to close again, seemingly for good. Then imagine his delight when, upon his return to England, he learned that the venerable old pub had reopened as The Water Tower: a Flaming Grill Pub…
Flaming Grill Pubs is one of several pub brands operated by Spirit Pubco, arguably their answer to Mitchells & Butlers Sizzling Pub concept. At least in Tilehurst that’s the case because The Water Tower’s closest competitor is M&B’s Tyler’s Rest.
I said I have mixed feelings didn’t I so let’s cut to the chase: The Water Tower is easily the most horrible pub experience Mr & Mrs Fueled by Beer have endured since our return.
- Lousy beer selection – one cask ale: Doom Bar, an OK beer, but widely available at much better pubs
- Awful food: I can’t even begin to describe what my burger was made of – if it was beef I shudder to think which part of the cow
- Pricey compared to the George & Dragon and Tyler’s Rest
- All the ambiance of a funeral parlor – decor and the staff – this is not a compliment, as with Seattle’s Pine Box.
In fairness to Spirit Pubco, among their other brands is Chef & Brewer, at which we have had good experiences recently. These were at Caversham’s favorite riverside pub, the Griffin, and at Grazeley Green’s Old Bell. I will be posting about these in due course.
The Water Tower: not recommended 😦