I liked Fat Cat, but I adore The Exchange. The best thing that could have happened to that place was to change hands, to go from chain to independent. The guys who own it are locals and they're all extremely passionate about their new venture, as well as being a qualified and friendly bunch.
The new decor is amazing, there's a real 'home away from home' feel to it, you feel at ease immediately and it's so pleasing to go somewhere with character but without the pretension attached to it, as is so often the case with chains and certain indies.
The selection of drinks is very satisfying: some nice cocktails and the range of beers is pretty good also.
But the best for me, is the food. The 'build your own burger' concept is such a brill idea! I recently had a double lamb burger topped with quite a few trimmings and not only was it delicious and filling, it was also reasonably priced. Put it that way...only cost me just about a quid more than a McD's, but my taste buds enjoyed the experience a million times more!
And for the party animals and other gig goers, there are very often some pretty decent bands and djs, especially in the basement. Yes, that room could definitely do with a revamp but give the owners some credits and some time!
Service-wise, I think the team is doing a pretty decent job considering it's quite a busy venue and as it's still early days i.e. they have to save on payroll which means it's sometimes understaffed and they have to run. And I like the fact they're all chilled and quite familiar with their clientele, not pretentious or fake. Good people.
Lots and lots of potential for the future but already a very decent gaff.
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