For ... not much
378 High St Preston
I tried to like this place, I really did. It's local, the space is cavernous and the location fantastic, but (sigh) ... It could be soooo much better!
Service: consistently rude
I kept giving my business to the Fire Station when I was perpetually pushing a pram around Preston (say that 5 times fast); the couches and room for said pram and even the sad box of toys in the corner kept me hoping time and again that the food and bev wouldn't be too bad. I stopped ordering coffee and took to splitting a hot chocolate with the Boy instead; I occasionally ordered food, but after a couple of disappointments, including nearly breaking my teeth on unpitted olives in a pasta dish, I kept it to can't-cock-up snacks only – a bowl of chips, perhaps.
In the end it was the lack of friendly service that did me in.
Incident 1: Boy removes sugar sticks from sugar bowl to line them up on our table (a favoured pastime; sticks are always back in the bowl when we leave, no harm, no foul). Staff member: 'Does he really need to do that? We have a box of toys.'
Incident 2: Just passing through, Boy wants a cookie, which sits in a jar on the counter. I open the jar and grab a cookie, only to see (same) staff member glare, not quite at me but at the air above the cookie jar where my hand was just now. Oops, I think to myself, I shouldn't have done that (I used to work in hospitality – I really should have known better, but I swear I only touched our cookie!). My turn to be served and she says, 'I don't mean to be rude, but ...' Suffice to say the lecture I received went on, and it was rude.
Oh, Fire Station, what a waste of a great space.