Stay in Touch With Us


[email protected]

+263 775 679 494

3-68th Avenue

Haig Park Mabelreign

Harare Zimbabwe

Follow us on social

The Bear’s back in business

The Bear (image: Google Streetview October 2021)

After the devastating news that one of the town’s most cherished pubs had closed, Bedford’s Bear is back in business, with former landlady, Lisa Pawsey pulling the pints.

The Bear was forced to close at the end of November, after the former licensee, Stuart Turtil – in mutual agreement with the pub’s owner Admiral Taverns – stepped back from the business.

Read: Three historic Bedford pubs close as owners seek new licensees

Following some turbulent times at the pub, Stuart’s company, Big Cat Coma, had been successfully running The Bear, alongside The Barley Mow and the Five Bells in Cople for the last couple of years.

Unfortunately, the business was the victim of an investment fraud and the family suffered a close bereavement. Both events devastated Stuart and his family financially and emotionally, leading them to take the decision to give up their licences.

“It is a very sad end to what was a very successful business,” Lisa told the Bedford Independent.

“These are very difficult times for the hospitality industry, and The Bear is no exception.”

Within a week of the pub’s closure, Lisa and the team were relieved to hear that Admiral Taverns had secured a new licensee and The Bear was able to reopen on Friday (2 December).

“The whole team was asked to come back, so it’s all the same faces and normal service has resumed,” said Lisa, who had been a regular at The Bear for many years before taking up her role behind the bar.

She’s got big plans to return the pub to its former glory as the alternative stalwart on Bedford High Street, while also being realistic about how different things are since the start of the pandemic and cost-of-living crisis.

“Pub-goers had got used to drinking at home and in their gardens during lockdown,” said Lisa. “But they are beginning to come back and we hope that over Christmas, people will pop in to have a festive drink with us, organise their Christmas get-togethers here and come along to some of our events.”

The Bear now has two pool teams, competing on Monday and Tuesday evenings, plus it is home to a legendary jukebox, bearing the sign “management has the right to reject ridiculous songs”.

“Metal, goth, punk is what you can expect from a night at The Bear,” said Lisa. “You won’t get any chart bangers in here.”

The Barley Mow

While The Bear and Cople’s Five Bells have reopened, a new licensee is yet to be found for The Barley Mow. Admiral Taverns are believed to be undertaking a refurbishment of the building and it’s hoped it will reopen next year.

“I wholeheartedly hope someone takes it over and brings it back to its former glory,” said Lisa.

“The town needs places like The Bear and The Barley Mow and we will be part of the evolution of the town centre.

“It was always going to be different to when Paul Shilladay [legendary long-standing Bear landlord] was in charge, but we’re still The Bear, we’re still here and we’re still having a lovely time.”



Keep Local news Alive in Bedfordshire

Source link

You don't have permission to register