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“Apparently it's the place to be, but the food is middle of the road”

The Players Retreat
Ranked #130 of 1,447 Restaurants in Raleigh
Price range: $1 - $25
Cuisines: American, Bar, Pub
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Families with children, Bar scene
Dining options: Late Night, Lunch, Dinner, Drinks, Outdoor Seating, Seating, Serves Alcohol, Takeout, Television, Waitstaff, Wheelchair Accessible
Description: In 1951, Bernie and Mickey Hanula founded the institution known as the Players Retreat. Less or a bar and restaurant, and more of a family. With menu options for every appetite, the PR remains a popular respite for the young and the old, the rich and the poor.
Philadelphia, PA
Level Contributor
50 reviews
17 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 29 helpful votes
“Apparently it's the place to be, but the food is middle of the road”
Reviewed October 21, 2012

Very good service and enjoyed the opportunity to sit outside for lunch on a beautiful day. Not impressed with the food.

Visited October 2012
Helpful?
Thank asrosen
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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81 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    29
    35
    10
    3
    4
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Cary, NC
Level Contributor
92 reviews
51 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 111 helpful votes
“Come for drinks, not food”
Reviewed October 14, 2012

Decent pub food. Good beer prices. Slow service. Do not come if you are in a hurry. Turkey Reuben had burnt toast and very little sauerkraut. PR sampler appetizer was fairly small, poppers were good. Burgers looked good. Homemade chips were a little stale. I'd come here again to drink and watch sports, but not for food.

Visited July 2012
Helpful?
Thank Duke4inNC
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Raleigh, North Carolina
Level Contributor
178 reviews
112 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 56 helpful votes
“New twists for a Raleigh institution”
Reviewed October 1, 2012

Players Retreat ("the PR" in Raleigh) was one of the city's first real bars, and much of its charm remains the same -- beer steins hanging behind the bar, old wooden booths and the famous aquariums. They always have a great selection of beer, including a number of the best local brews. Outdoor seating near the street is pleasant for two reasons -- the street (old Oberlin Road) is now one-way and not busy; and unlike many outdoor dining areas, they restrict smoking to only a few tables. In the summer, they use a misting system to keep diners cool, even on the hottest days. There are lots of TVs, large and small, in the bar, the sidewalk and back room for sports viewing. And, the chef (yes, that's right) has started a special Friday and Saturday night menu that features more than just pub food, but upscale selections like, Colorado Lamb BBQ w/Napa Cabbage Slaw, Red Bliss Potatoes & Jalapeno Corn Bread ($19.95) or Curried Butternut Squash Bisque w/Smoked Chicken ($6.95). Of course, don't expect pub prices on these selections, but what I've tried has been very good.

  • Visited September 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank Nhampton
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
raleigh,nc
Level Contributor
11 reviews
8 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“Good, but not best service”
Reviewed September 4, 2012

Nice people, but a slew of "I'm sorrys" from waiter doesn't help when your table's food comes out one at a time and late, appetizers and salads come out with late food, getting charged for substitutions without knowing - vegetable instead of potato. The burgers were good, the cheese fries were way over fried and then must have sat under a light with cheese, so the plate was all stuck together, hard and tasteless. The half order of ribs was so small, tasty as they were, but were not worth the cost. Mix ups in the kitchen were the reasons the waiter gave several times for different issues. So get on the ball, Players Retreat! We love the idea of outside eating and were very disappointed.

  • Visited September 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank swneilsoRaleigh_nc
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Raleigh, North Carolina
Level Contributor
11 reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 30 helpful votes
“Be prepared to leave your table”
Reviewed August 11, 2012

Recently met some NC State faculty friends at the PR who are 20+ year patrons of the restaurant. The 6 of us were seated at a large window table in the front of the restaurant enjoying our drinks. About a half hour later someone identifying himself as the manager came by and told us we had to leave because a group of men who were "regulars" were on their way to the PR and wished to have our particular table. So we were sent to a table in the far back of the restaurant. Unbelievable!

The food is a bit better since the recent change of ownership, but be prepared to move in the middle of your meal should the owner's friends stop in and wish to have your particular table.

Very poor taste, especially for loyal, long-term customers.

  • Visited August 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank GAZ49463
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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