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“Best venue in Stoke. End of.”

The Exchange Bar and Kitchen
Ranked #4 of 27 Restaurants in Hanley
Price range: US$6 - US$17
Cuisines: American
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Groups, Child-friendly, Special Occasion Dining, Bar Scene, Business meetings
Dining options: Lunch, Dinner, Brunch, After-hours, Drinks, Accepts Mastercard, Accepts Visa, Buffet, Digital Payments, Free Off-Street Parking, Free Wifi, Full Bar, Highchairs Available, Outdoor Seating, Parking Available, Reservations, Seating, Serves Alcohol, Waitstaff, Wine and Beer
Description: The Exchange is proud to be one of Stoke on Trent's premier and most respected bars, providing the back drop for casual dining and drinking within Hanley's historic Old Telephone Exchange. We aim to deliver a relaxed, informal atmosphere and our seasonally rotating menu hits the spot every time - Our Naked Burgers also allow you to custom build burgers just how you like em . Food served 12-8 Mon, Tues, Weds & Sat 12-9 Thurs and Fri Our bar team also shine bright with a fantastic selection of contemporary cocktails, craft lagers and guest spirits - The Black Cherry Mojito is a must! Free parking is also available to the rear behind our beer garden. We recommend phoning ahead to book a table to ensure you secure one of our smooth booths.
1 review
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“Best venue in Stoke. End of.”
Reviewed 18 May 2014

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.

  • Visited May 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
4 Thank Jerome F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
TheExchangeHanley, Manager at The Exchange Bar and Kitchen, responded to this review, 28 May 2014
Hi Jerome,

Thanks a lot for your review.

Everyone involved in The Exchange is very passionate about doing something a bit different in Hanley, and it's great to hear people appreciate this.

We look forward to seeing you again!

Andrew
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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185 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Stoke-on-Trent, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
6 reviews
6 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
“Fabulous.”
Reviewed 17 May 2014 via mobile

The Exchange is my idea of heaven. With a lack of cool places in Hanley we visit here a lot. It's a chilled out atmosphere in a beautiful building. On arrival the stained glass and the Minton tiles are enough to make you go in. When you hit the main bar you feel right at home. It has a old American, prohibition feel about the place. Every time we visit the food is top drawer & if you haven't been I'd recommend the 'build a burger' with a ciabatta bun & chorizo. The food is plentiful and the prices are very fair. Cocktails are 2 for £7 until. 9pm which is a steal & they go all out on them. It's nice to see the staff have been trained on them. I also love a good latte from here . Again. Good training. The staff are also wonderful & you can see they like being there . I can't fault the place.

  • Visited May 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
4 Thank Fayew1987
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
TheExchangeHanley, Manager at The Exchange Bar and Kitchen, responded to this review, 28 May 2014
Fayew1987,

Thank you very much for your comments.

Its really nice to hear you've had such good experiences of the venue. The building is certainly something special.

Please look out for more cocktail and drinks offers coming in the future!

Andrew
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Manchester, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
49 reviews
40 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 40 helpful votes
“Terrible service”
Reviewed 13 May 2014 via mobile

I recently came to the exchange on a hen do. First of all, we were all on different tables and found it hard to socialise (there were only 20 of us). We had to get up to get our own drinks and we paid for food as we ordered because "when everyone's had a drink it gets a bit confusing" as the waitress said. I found that to be quite rude and lacking in customer service. When the food came, it was rushed out all at different times. The food was average for the price. Once we'd eaten, the dirty plates sat there for a good hour until a member of our group asked for them to be moved. Much to the waitresses annoyance she came and moved them (she didn't look happy). I believe they were grossly understaffed and this really did impact on the service that we were given as paying customers. I am disappointed as I heard such good things! Won't be going again on the weekend for food. The music was good and there was a nice atmosphere as a couple of positives.

Helpful?
2 Thank Charlotte B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
TheExchangeHanley, Manager at The Exchange Bar and Kitchen, responded to this review, 28 May 2014
Hi Charlotte,

I'm very sorry to read you did not have the expected experience at the party you attended.

I have since spoken to the hen Nicolle, as on the night she had commented that she had a great time and highlighted the staff and the service as a positive, and she reiterated this to me on the phone.

We do appreciate all feedback as people have different tastes, in regards to the points you've raised there were a number of aspects arranged with Nicolle prior to the party, so we apologise if this wasn't your style. We had agreed seating beforehand about the seating arrangement, and for the guests to order and pay at the bar separately, which we agreed to do although it is actually easier for the staff to deliver table service as a whole.

I do apologise that the plates were not cleared in good time, and that you did not feel the staff were happy to look after you, this will certainly be discussed.
We'd love for you to come back and try us again and change your mind.

Please let me know if you would like any further information.

Thank you
Andrew
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Stoke-on-Trent, United Kingdom
1 review
“Bad Service”
Reviewed 13 May 2014

I visited The Exchange earlier this year with a friend. Having previously eaten there several times before it changed hands, I expected a similar experience.
We saw an offer board outside advertising a special deal at lunchtime (which it was), it wasn't until we received the bill and queried why we had not been given said deal that the waiter/barman grunted that 'it was only available if you pre-booked a table'.
The service itself was poor, the waiter looked scruffy, didn't smile or offer a friendly service and made us feel we were an inconvenience to his day.
The food was average at best. We each had a burger and fries which we expected to be an excellent standard considering the price. Each item (cheese, bacon, sauces) was an additional cost. We were the only people there, and the food still took a while to be served.
All in all a poor experience, we will not be returning.

  • Visited January 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank Slwood24
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
TheExchangeHanley, Manager at The Exchange Bar and Kitchen, responded to this review, 28 May 2014
Slwood24,

Thank you for your feedback, we are always trying to improve so all comments are important to us.

In regards to your visit in particular I'm not sure which offer you are referring to, as we ran a 33% of all our main menu during January, which is the only offer we required a table booking in advance which all our promotions did state on them.
Our "build-a-burger" menu was not included in this offer, however we did run a 2 for 1 promotion on these burgers through February and March, but was not on at the same time as the 33% offer.

We have had really positive feedback on the custom burgers, as they allow for people to create a completely personal meal. Personally I feel it is very good value for money as the naked burger is £5.95 and has always come with either a free cheese or sauce within that price, with all extra toppings being £1 and sides for £1.25.

I am very sorry that the experience did not live up to expectations, we are aware of the high standards we had set during our time under Fat Cats, and as many of the bar and kitchen staff are the same we do feel we have improved in quality and price since then.

We would love for you to reconsider and return and hopefully we can change you mind.

Thank you
Andrew
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
44 reviews
24 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
“Just go and try for yourself!”
Reviewed 10 May 2014

This restaurant is slightly out of the way but well worth a visit . it has real potential. The vibe is trendy , the food was amazing , we had a build your own burger , which was honestly the best burger I have had ! The waitress was very knowledgable and help ful . The cocktails are 2 for the price of 1 till 9 during the week and there is a lovely selection . Wide variety of beers and drinks too . Couldnt of asked for better !

  • Visited May 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
2 Thank leanne s
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
TheExchangeHanley, Manager at The Exchange Bar and Kitchen, responded to this review, 28 May 2014
Leanne,

Thank you very much for your comments.

We've had such good feedback from the burgers in particular, so I'm pleased to hear you enjoyed yours!
Look out for further cocktail offers we will be running in the future!

See you again

Andrew
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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