News - December 28, 2007
New British pub opens downtown
Redcoats serves diners in former Odd Fellows hall on St. Mary Street
by Janet Pelletier
You don't have to cross the pond for authentic British fare anymore. A new pub that recently opened downtown offers anything from bangers and mash, fish and chips and shepherd's pie.
Redcoats opened Dec. 15 at 336 St. Mary St. Mari Kennard owns the restaurant along with her ex-husband Paul. Residents may know her if they've ever been to her popular British pub in Danville, called The Crown. Kennard said she describes Redcoats as very similar to The Crown, but with an evolution to the concept of the restaurant.
Kennard, a Brit, left England in 1980 and is a Pleasanton resident.
Asked why she chose the name Redcoats, Kennard said "We had a lot of brainstorming sessions and in the end, that name resonated, both sides of the Atlantic really," she said. "If you see our sign, it's actually a decapitated redcoat so it's a little tongue and cheek because it was, of course, the redcoats who were the enemy of the Americans as the soldiers of the British."
While the restaurant has only been open for two weeks, Kennard said she's been amazed by the response.
"We were blown away because we just quietly opened our doors and we were very full (the first day we opened) and (the day after) also," she said.
Kennard describes the pub and restaurant's atmosphere as friendly, fun and international.
In addition to restaurant seating and a full bar, Redcoats has a mezzanine level that serves as a lounge at night--something unique in downtown Pleasanton.
Kennard said on evenings, groups can request the lounge for private parties and bottle service will be available.
When you come upon the restaurant, it's evident that the building has a storied history, as most buildings in downtown do.
The back portion of the restaurant is where a church used to be. That part of the building was constructed in 1888.
"Then, the Independent Order of the Odd Fellows Hall sits at the front of it and that was built in 1907," Kennard said.
Brothers Bob and Jim Byrd performed the work on the building to renovate it for the restaurant
"It's exactly what Pleasanton needs," Kennard said. "We feel it meets a lot of needs for Pleasanton residents in the way of ambiance, food offering and the spirit that we have. I love downtown Pleasanton and I want to be part of it."
For more information about Redcoats, visit www.redcoatspub.com.
Posted by Nance Johnsen,
a resident of Livermore
on Jan 18, 2008 at 9:49 am
Jakers, Janet, this is not a true UK pub. Put lipstick on a pig, it is still a pig. This diner offers as much affection, warmth and atmosphere as a mortgage loan office. When we first walked in yesterday 01/17/08, we thought it was still under construction. No decor except for maybe 6 mirrored beer signs. No Brass. No UK prints, NO dart board, but heh, 3 TV's! and that is more important, isn't it - makes it an obnoxious sports bar, not a pub. No warmth. The fireplace, below a flat TV screen (how charming) is gas and makes no fire crackling noise, exudes no coziness, and generates only enough heat to warm you if you're right next to it. Nothing on the tables save a few Smart-N-Final salt/pepper shakers. No HP sauce or malt on the tables (unless you're eating; guess they can't afford it and/or they think it might clutter up the already bare decor). Waitress Carina/Karina was nice and friendly and took our beer order but mistakingly brought my husband a regular pint and not imperial pint and then said she would only charge him for the regular pint yes, that was a brilliant answer. Of COURSE we should only be charged for the size he got. The ESB had nitrogen in it, tasted like undeveloped yeast!! MAJOR SIN: Means the owners are scimping to fool the customer. The fish was the size of a burrito and greasy on one lettuce leaf, unattractively laying there, no presentation plating skills. The chips were not fresh cut but frozen/quick fried. The music was not Celtic but part heavy metal, part cheap pop, absolute BOLLOCKS. Acoustics were horrible; noise level 10 bells. Over staffed, seemingly bumping into one another. To top off our horrible visit, an obviously insecure "businessman", when other men finally came in and sat at the bar, proceeded to chat them up loudly, glancing at me every once in a while to see if I was paying attention to him, using the "F" word liberally every other word he spoke. NO one called him on it. As manager or owner, I would have told him politely but firmly that that type of language would not be tolerated in the presence of others in my establishment -- right to refuse service. (My husband and I have done that in the past to protect my customers.) I watched as two separate customers walked up to the front desk looking for menus or help to be served after they had already been seated. And it was really interesting to hear this pratt "buseinssman" at the bar from New Mexico claim to know a lot about the City of Pleasanton as he also disparaged the city's residents who had painstakingly worked to make sure certain aspects of the "pub's" business would not negatively impact their living area; he completely trashed the residents with his filthy remarks. We left immediately because I have never heard the "F" word used that much since the movie "Snatch". Now, why do I say it is not a true pub? Because we had a true pub, The White Cockade Scottish Pub in Boulder Creek, Highway 9. Unfortunately, we were forced to close 12/31/06 when we found out thru some of our loyal customers that our pub's property owner was secretly going into foreclosure. We KNOW what a true pub is. And Redcoats is not it. So to the owners of Redcoats and the Crown (which also leaves a lot to be desired, regardless of their extensive liquor license offerings), show some taste, passion, quality, atmosphere, and veracity to your potential customers. Stop trying to insult and fool the publicans who know what a real pub is or visitors who do not know what a true pub is but should be allowed a memorable time and meal and pint in a pseudo American one. In fact, some of our customers, American and British, called us to tell us to go check this place out, warned us of their visits, and begged us to re-open. They said the shepard's pie was deplorable, soggy fish, chips still frozen, and their pints had the same problem: nitrogen infused.
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