The Abingdon Blog

The Abingdon Blog is a photo record of events and places in Abingdon, Oxfordshire, started on January 1st 2006.

Tuesday, 2 September 2008

New Opening

This pub reopened a week ago looking very smart.

It seems to be more a place where you sit, drink and eat, maybe wine and tapas, rather than crowd around the bar talking football in the evening. The entry age has been raised to 21.


Blogger Steven said...

It is not been very friendly to people who just want a quiet drink, as can be seen in these messages from the Oxford Camra group mail list:

-------- Original Message --------
Subject: [OXCAMRA-EVENTS] The Grapes in Abingdon
Date: Mon, 1 Sep 2008 18:29:02 +0100

Just thought you should know...........................

If you decide to take some friends into the newly reopened Grapes, to
look at what they have done with it, whatever you do, whenever you
decide to buy one of them another drink, do NOT take the glass up to the
bar with you.

While you are away, the user of the glass will be accused of stealing it
and putting it into their handbag.

When you challenge them, as it was being filled at the time and ask for
an apology, you will not get one.

The security people, who act very pleasantly, will ask you to leave and
whilst that is happening your drink and that of the other people will be
removed from your table.

During this episode you will probably be told that the manager is
unavailable "he is resting".

If you are vocal enough and persistant you will get a refund for the
drinks that have been poured away.

Be warned!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Regards to all

PS: Trade does not seem too brisk, but then word of this sort of
unsavoury and unwarranted incident travels fast.

-------- Original Message --------
Subject: [OXCAMRA-EVENTS] The Grapes, Abingdon - Update Report
Date: Sun, 24 Aug 2008 11:09:52 +0000

Dear Members

Further to my previous e-mail on this pub, I am sorry to have to report
how disappointed I am with the newly refurbished establishment of The
Grapes in Abingdon.

I visited The Grapes at around 7pm yesterday evening with Dave (one of
our Abingdon-based Oxford CAMRA members) and a female friend. We
ordered two pints of Old Speckled Hen and one glass of Leffe. We were
all impressed by the d├ęcor of the place (especially when we discovered
another room I had missed on Thursday night) and were commenting on the
welcoming atmosphere and friendly door and bar staff whilst having a
quiet drink.

The first odd thing to happen was that one of the door staff came over
to our table and placed a reserved sign on it. She explained they
needed it shortly for customers who would be eating there. Well, this
is a practice which CAMRA campaigns against, as drinkers should be made
to feel welcome in a pub and not think they have to eat in order to stay
and feel appreciated. We decided to finish our drinks then leave.

The female friend was drinking the Leffe which came in its own branded
glass and was a half-pint one, in the style of a wine glass, so she
finished her drink before Dave and me. Dave took the Leffe glass up to
the bar to buy another half for our friend. As he was at the bar, one
of the bar staff saw our friend did not have a glass in front of her and
proceeded to accuse her of stealing the glass, saying she had put it in
her handbag. She had specifically asked Dave to take her glass back up
to the bar, as a favour to the bar staff to save them collecting it in,
plus her handbag was far to small to accommodate such an object.

We confronted the staff immediately, as we thought this was a just a
misunderstanding; however the staff all upheld the accusation, even
though Dave had the glass in front of him at the bar! The staff finally
realised they had made a mistake, but by this stage Dave, our friend and
I were so disgusted by the way we had been treated that we asked for a
full refund (which they gave without further argument) and left immediately.

We were not drunk and had not behaved in any way to cause them to treat
us like second-class citizens, but this is precisely how we were made to
feel. I am suprised by the staff treating their customers this way in
the critical opening week of trade in which customers make up their
minds as to whether they will return to a pub or not. One thing is for
sure, we will not be returning in a hurry!


Oxford CAMRA

2 September 2008 20:40  
Anonymous Agnes said...

We thought we might try it out to see what the place was like so after a decent meal in Kitsons went along, but it closes at 10.00pm! I understand they want to promote the food there - so why not open it up as a resturant - not a bar?! Also - guys be warned that you will not get in if you are not wearing a collared shirt in the evening. Hardly a tapas bar then is it - where in Spain would you have to dress up to go out for food?!! Seeing the comments from the CAMRA group, I'd give it a wide berth!

3 September 2008 13:02  
Anonymous Anne said...

I went the other evening for a quiet drink with a female friend and were very happy with the friendly service. I will definitely go back and have recommended the Grapes to various friends already

3 September 2008 18:34  
Anonymous Steve said...

I have been to the grapes since it re -opened a few times and have enjoyed the service and atmosphere. I have been there on a Friday night in jeans and T shirt and have had no problems. It's not a real ale sort of pub but a relaxing place for a mature crowd who like to have a seat and a chat with friends.

4 September 2008 15:53  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I've been to the Grapes a few time since it re opened and its a great atmosphere for adults who want a relaxed evening with no trouble or drunks ruining the atmosphere. The food is great as well.

15 September 2008 20:29  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

i enjoyed an absoultly fantacic evening at the grapes at the weekend ,the food is stunning in fact possible the best ive eaten so much so i returned the following day to have there eggs benidict ,reading the negative comments above maybe i could suggest the punch bowl or even the blue boar might be more up your street as you may fit better in that establishment!!! keep up the good work folks as i think your fantastic and i will recomend you to all my friends!

22 September 2008 10:42  
Anonymous crispy_p said...

What a shame to see the earlier comment - we've had a family brunch there and it was excellent: very generous portions for the money, and more importantly very good quality ingredients and friendly service - we will be going regularly from now on and have recommended it to our friends.

26 September 2008 11:18  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This post has been removed by a blog administrator.

25 October 2008 00:23  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

for the women who left the post on 25 October 2008 00:23 i was working on that night and on the night she returned with her friends after the manager offered her not only a completely free meal on the original evening but a free meal on another night. the group then returned for their free night and ordered the whole tapas menu + 4 bottles of wine + desserts, all free and said they had enjoyed the whole evening. no further posts were ever made by the group.

25 March 2009 14:32  
Blogger Backstreeter said...

I did remove that post as it seemed they may have had an axe to grind. Apologies.

25 March 2009 22:55  

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