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Volunteer, Lewes

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user reviews of The Volunteer, Lewes

please note - reviews on this site are purely the opinion of site visitors, so don't take them too seriously.

Rude/low calibre female staff - with zero interest, except in chatting to their mates at the end of the bar. Heavy enough to be prop forwards...
wealdman - 13 Sep 2015 12:42
Nice pub - but very poor staff who have little interest is even being vaguely pleasant. Everything seems a chore, except chatting to their mates.
tradervic - 16 Sep 2012 11:37
Much need lively pub in Lewes. Good service, do not have to wait long to be served. Great live music. One grumble landord and lady need to chat to their customers would make all the differance, just seem to stick to their regulars which makes it seem a little clicky.
lucy55 - 24 Jan 2010 17:59
I used to work in this pub. It was always busy and always had a brilliant atmosphere. When the noughties took hold, the pub went through a number of terrible managers who unfortunately destroyed that atmosphere. It turned into a dive, I agree. The place was dirty, the beer was flat and the staff were rude. Since November 2008 when the current Landlord and Lady have taken over the place has been totally transformed. It has changed from what it was, but it has almost grown up with the rest of us. No longer are there cheesy discos and live footy matches, but they would seem out of place now. Instead there is a friendly and welcoming atmosphere, brilliant food and excellent live bands. I would invite everyone who has rated this pub so poorly in the past to revisit and revise their rating!
LewesLandlady - 21 Dec 2009 12:49
As previous reviewers have mentioned, this place deserves far more than its current rating as it is a very pleasant pub.

I thought that the barmaid was polite and my Guinness was well served. Harveys Best, Tribute and Doom Bar were also available alongside Old Rosie and a standard draught selection.

The background music was decent and at a nice volume and I collared a couple of friendly locals who were very forthcoming in their explanation of the toad-in-the-hole game which I had not come across before.

Id certainly pop back in here for a pint again if passing.
Strongers - 4 Nov 2009 20:42
Not a bad boozer. Visited on a Saturday afternoon and both fires were going. Nice and clean with a good pint of Tribute on the go. Don't know what it's like in the evening but I do agree that an overall 4 rating is a bit harsh.
chunkypetersplat - 23 Oct 2009 15:00
We'll get some coloured bricks for you barneygumble.
lyeemoon - 18 Oct 2009 20:16
Very nice pub, been in 4 or 5 times now. Beer is good, barmaid is a great laugh, but takes no sh*t. food is good, although my pizza could done with being sliced up before serving. Some more events would be nice, pub quiz or something?
barneygumble - 8 Sep 2009 21:23
I have visited twice on music days--music was great both times, the beer is well kept with interesting guests. Clean and comfortable. Deserves a much higher rating than 4.
Uncle_Dunkel - 25 Aug 2009 11:18
Rob, Jo & Reuben have certainly transformed this pub from the absolute dive that it used to be into a really pleasurable place. The service is superb, the food is good and the beer is clean, which is the total opposite from what it used to be in the past. The Landlords have done a good job in getting rid of the previous patrons - alomost all gone now - and I would enocourage people to give this pub another chance. It suffers terribly from a poor past reputation, but Rob, Jo & Reuben deserve to have far more custom than they currenly get in my opinion. So rally the troops and take a punt - I would be surprised if you didn't enjoy it
humbug - 27 Jun 2009 12:38
Has a nouvelle look to it outside but is fairly traditional inside. There were four hand pumps but none were on. To be fair the guy behind the bar was very apologetic and said theyd had a busy weekend and the new barrels were yet ready. Went for a bottle of Westons Cider.

Millay - 13 Jun 2009 23:10
Went into this pub on Sunday for something to eat and the live music. Was in Lewes visiting friends and was met with a very nice atmosphere indeed. The food (sunday roast) was very good and the music pleasant on the ear. The landlord and lady were very hospitable and all in all a thoroughly recommended experience.
bigphilsmate - 5 May 2009 16:33
Previously a drab, slightly intimidating place but now a lively, thriving pub in Lewes's delightful town centre... fantastic live music, good home-cooked food options and a pleasant atmosphere of thirty-something punters
nickjstamp - 16 Apr 2009 14:19
We dropped into the Volunteer yesterday afternoon (Sunday) to listen to the live music that was advertised. We had never been into the pub before (in any of its previous incarnations) and were met by a warm, laid back and very friendly atmosphere. There were plenty of families finishing off what looked like a very good Sunday roast. Rob and Jo (the enthusiastic young owners) were out front with their young son and chatting to punters. The music was very mellow. They served an excellent pint of Harveys best and had a good selection of wines. Prices for food and drink were very reasonable.

The pub obviously has "previous" judging by some of the earlier comments, but under new ownership it is a really welcoming, relaxed and convivial place. Will definitely make it a regular haunt.
todwell - 12 Jan 2009 11:41
Went to this pub for the first time yesterday and passed a very happy afternoon there when I only popped in for a couple. The new owners really seem to have turned this place around as I couldn't see any signs of the trouble other people have mentioned and the food was delicious! Would definitely recommend checking this place out again as it really seems to have changed.
manningcl - 3 Jan 2009 12:26
i think a change of name would have helped as this place carries a reputation from its previous incarnation .. . not as bad as it is painted .
9ooner - 20 Dec 2008 21:44
cant say i agree with the "bland beer " , i started using the place after the refurb , i regularly have Harveys or one of their guests ,gotta disagree , never had a bad pint there ...maybe you were unlucky ..give them another chance ,its a nice friendly place and im keen for it to stay free of undesirables !!
harveyslover - 22 Oct 2008 19:14
It certainly has a better ambience since the makeover and I have heard good reports of the food, but the beer.... There are plenty of people in Lewes who could teach you how to keep your beer properly. It must be difficult to make a fine beer like Harvey's Best taste so bland, but you succeed!
southdown12jack - 1 Jul 2008 11:38
Ordered a Homemade Burger today with baby tomatoes and mozarella. I got reheated chips, a Tesco's value bun, 2 slices of 'normal' tomatoe, bland cheese that was more cheddar than anything! Service was slow. A generous THREE from me!
region2 - 7 Feb 2008 17:05
finally opened again , what a difference , went there sat lunch and had great fish and chips with home made chips , nice friendly staff and no chavs ! finally a great pub in Lewes !!!
harveyslover - 19 Dec 2007 13:45
Currently closed for refurbishment. It is intended to be a classy eating and drinking establishment when reopened. We shall see!!
southdown12jack - 23 Oct 2007 13:50
I was going to post a review of this pub but I think the previous four reviews tell you all you need to know about the people (term used loosely) who frequent this place. Unless you're a filmmaker making a documentary about the underclass, give the place a very wide berth - about as wide as the distance a beer bottle can fly.
Get_me_some_Old_Tom - 10 Apr 2007 13:44
great baby
1britneyluva - 27 Apr 2006 11:13
love the cheesy disco nights!! more britney!! needs revamping the pub does, but i fink its ace!
1britneyluva - 27 Apr 2006 11:13
seem's wicked... love the regulars!!!
pootang - 27 Apr 2006 11:05
Great Pub, Good DJ's... Pub is quite spacious, but needs alot of renevating to get it lookin more lush! Friendly Bar Staff!
alcoholik - 24 Apr 2006 14:37
I visted the Pub the other Thursday Night, and found out it was a Student Night, even though I am not a Student anymore still accomidated well for me, with Great music (Hip-Hop and RnB) and Free Pool and Drink Offers. the DJ a guy called A.C.Knell did a great job!! Gotta go there more often the place has potential
pubgangsta - 13 Apr 2006 10:58
Not only the worst pub in Lewes, probably the worst pub in Sussex!

Beer is flat, service is shit, very over priced. Decor is cold and unwelcoming.

It is vastly different from when the bar was in the middle in the 90s. Since the refit and numerous management changes it has gone down hill more and more and more!
theadz01 - 6 Mar 2006 13:00
This has got to be the worst pub in Lewes. I have only visited it once - never again. Unfriendly and poor quality beer. It must be really difficult to serve such a poor pint of Harvey's especially when it's brewed less than 200 yards away. I visited on Saturday lunchtime when it was fairly quiet but I undestand that, if you hear there's been trouble in a Lewes pub, it's a fair bet it's this one.
southdown12jack - 16 Nov 2005 15:23

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