'White elephant' Island bar on the Thames in Reading could become three-bedroom home

People in Caversham say a "white elephant" bar should be turned into a "real asset" venue after plans were again submitted to convert it into housing.

An application has been submitted to Reading Borough Council which would see the Island Bar and Restaurant near Caversham Bridge converted into a three-bedroom home.

But people living in the area say its prime Thames-side location could be a great venue for weddings and public events if someone was to take it over.

The plans could see the vacant bar on the River Thames be given a new lease of life. However, previous housing plans for the site have been turned down by the council.

The bar has been for sale on property websites for £2 million for a number of years, but has never been sold, and now there are plans to end its life as a bar and restaurant.

The bar is in a glorious position by the Thames in Reading, but has had numerous problems including complaints over noise. In 2016, it lost its licence because of the complaints.

The following year an attempt to get a new licence for a 50th birthday party also failed.

The plans also show Royal Berkshire Fire and Rescue Service raised concerns over the safety of the building in 2017.

Neighbour Rebecca Stowell, 38, said: "Years ago we'd spend a lot of time there. I had my 30th birthday there for example.

"Now it's just a bit of a white elephant in Caversham.

"I think I'd definitely prefer it stay as a bar rather than a house. It just seems a very odd location for a house.

"I think the area is crying out for a lovely wedding venue. I'd quite like to see that happen there, but a house just seems quite unnatural with no garden, right by the river.

"It would be lovely if an established bar provider took it on and made it a real community asset."


Can't find what you are looking for?

Our helpful team are on hand to answer any queries and concerns you may have.

Get in Touch

This website uses cookies. We use cookies to provide social media features and to analyse our traffic.
You consent to our cookies if you continue to use our website. Read our cookie policy. I understand