Revolución de Cuba, 138-141 Friar Street, Reading, RG1 1EX.
All ‘information’ in this review is ‘accurate’ as of November 2016.
What do you get when you cross Revolution and Q Bar? ‘Revolución de Cuba‘! Ha ha ha! Do you see? Because ‘Q Bar’ and ‘Cuba’ sound similar, don’t they? Hilarious opening jokes aside, yeah – there’s another place in town called Revolution. Except this time it’s misspelled. And instead of Russian communist uprisings, the theme here is Central American ones. Well, alright – the theme’s more just Cuba in general.
It’s new and has a kind of Las Iguanas feel to it. One part bar, three parts restuarant – sure it’s mostly a grub place, but the bar’s big enough to justify a review. Plus, it’s our fucking website so we’ll write up what we bloody well like, ALRIGHT?
Drink Selection: Draughts are okay, but relatively limited, with seven beers, IPAs and ciders (including the brilliantly sweet yank ‘hard cider’, Angry Orchard) to pick from. There are a few bottles, including nice rarities like Quilmes, but disappointingly only one Cuban beer. The cocktail menu is quite extensive, though. Our favourite cocktail is ‘The Guantanamo’ which is served directly into your mouth through a hessian sack.
Location: It’s where the Friar Street HMV used to be. The best thing about that being that it wasn’t a bar before. So no shortcuts could be take with the refit. Everything’s new and it’s pretty darn swish in there.
Food: A nice and tidy – and not too lengthy – menu offers up a blend of Cuban, Spanish and Mexican offerings. Our favourite dish is the pulled pork tacos called ‘Fidel Gastro’s Bay of Pigs’.
Atmosphere: It’s only just opened, so we’ll have to see, but we’ve got a good feeling that it’ll do well and should always have a fair few people in there when you visit.
Beer Garden/Smoking Area: Both floors have outside spaces, with the first floor smoking area being a bit of a roof terrace-type affair.
Toilets: Beautiful, they are. See? You’d happily drop a few Cuban cigars off here, wouldn’t you?
Sports? They like baseball in Cuba, don’t they? They don’t show it here though, obviously. Or any other sports. We were just making conversation.
Price: Being a socialist place, everyone pays £50 to get in and then just drinks and eats as much as they like until everything runs out and the bar gets ransacked, people turn on each other, fights break out and it’s forced to close.
Nah, not really. We paid a tenner for two pints.
Decor: They’ve decked the place out very well. Sure, it’s Cuban-y in there, but it’s not too much. There’s a little subtlety. The upstairs bar/function room (which, apparently, will be hosting salsa nights soon) is particularly cool. We didn’t take any pictures of it, though. So you’ll just have to imagine it. Or, y’know, go and look yourself, you lazy sod.
Pub Games: No juegos, amigos.
Punterwatch: It’s early days, but we’re guessing that the majority of people drinking in there will be about to eat, so we’re not imagining much of a dedicated drinking crowd.
This ‘Punterwatch’ bit isn’t actually very useful, is it? But we’re keeping it in because we like the name.
Revolución de Cuba’s barely a bar, let alone a pub. Yet we still reviewed it. Because we’re mavericks. We’re renegades. We’re… Hang on. Did we actually ‘review’ it? Did we say if we like the place or not? We’re no AA Gills, are we? Er, yeah. It’s alright. Head in for a Cuba Libre some time.
PS The tight-fisted among you that live or work in town might want to dive in on Tuesday afternoon (November 22nd) to have a look. They’re giving away a thousand free tacos from Midday.