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23-12-06
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The Grey Friar [Website] [Map 11]
Unit 1a 144 Friargate || Telephone 01772 5588542 || Date visited: March 2005
  • Alcohol
    1. Lager
    2. - Stella Artois
    3. Bitter
    4. - Various
    5. Stout
    6. -
    7. Cider
    8. -
    9. Mild
    10. -
    11. Bottles
    12. -
Comments:
The Bitter - usually 3 or 4 guest Real Ales. This pub usually sells the cheapest drinks in any Preston city centre pub.
  • Entertainment
    1. Live Acts
    2. - No
    3. Karaoke
    4. - No
    5. DJ
    6. - No
    7. Juke Box
    8. - No
    9. Quiz Nights
    10. - No
    11. Pool Table
    12. - No
    13. Darts
    14. - No
Comments:
The owners of this pub, JD Weatherspoon had a blanket policy of no entertainment in any of their outlets. Until recently, amusement machines (fruit machines) didn't have a place at the Grey Friar, although they do now. However, they don't make a sound unlike others that drive you to distraction with their pings, beeps and various other sound effects.

The style of this pub (open-plan with multiple levels and booths) seems to be a poplular concept these days, and its always quite busy no matter what time of day or day of week. The bar area can become congested at weekends as everyone congregates at the front of this area, but there is usually ample seating elsewhere in the pub.


  • Food
    1. Quality
    2. - Variable
    3. Price Range
    4. - Main Meal - 4.50
    5. Prestentation
    6. - OK
    7. Serving Times
    8. - Until 9pm weekdays but earlier at weekends.
Comments:
You'd always find a No Smoking section in this pub (as as in all Wetherspoons pubs) before the smoking ban, but now that's no longer and issue.
Wetherspoons was the first pub chain in the UK to introduce a No Smoking Area policy in 1993.

  • Toilets

  • Gents
    1. Cleanliness
    2. - Good
    3. Maintenance
    4. - Good
    5. Aroma
    6. - Good

    Ladies

    1. Cleanliness
    2. -
    3. Maintenance
    4. -
    5. Aroma
    6. -
Comments:

  • Staff
    1. Friendliness
    2. - Variable
    3. Attitude
    4. - OK / Indifferent
    5. Appearance
    6. - Average (uniform)
Comments:
A pub where young / student barstaff seem to reign. Many are good at their job, but a few let their collegues and some customers down. I remember a few ocassions when I've walked out in disgust after waiting patiently at the bar for 5 minutes whilst the usually young barstaff serve everyone else except myself. I've experience of other customers complaining of this too.
  • Customers
    1. Locals
    2. - Yes
    3. Students
    4. - Yes
Comments:
Locals to student ratio 50% to 50% respectively.
  • Decor [ Traditional / Modern / Other
  • ]
    1. Traditional
    2. - Yes
    3. Modern
    4. -
    5. Other Style
    6. -
    7. Condition
    8. - Good
Comments:
If you're thinking that this is an unusual building for a pub, then you're not alone.
It was originally built in the early 1990's as part of the local Job centre / Employment Office, but they didn't need the whole building and a large area was let to business'.

Queensways Furniture occupied what is now the pub for a few years and later (on a temporary yearly basis) so did Mrs Christmas - can you guess what they sold?

It's been The Grey Friar since approx 1995.

I understand that each JD Weatherspoon pub is original and many properties / buildings had other lives before becoming pubs. The list include cinemas, police stations and shops etc.