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The Bowling Green, Leicester

44 Oxford Street
Phone: 01162546496

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Reviews (Current Rating Average: of 10) Add Review see review guidelines

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

Pub SignMan left this review about The Bowling Green

Previously a student friendly Scream pub called The Polar Bear, this Grade II listed pub - one of the oldest in the city - was recently taken over by the Stonegate pub company who have made a move back to a more traditional pub format. The place looks like a fairly standard sized boozer on initial approach, but it runs a surprising way back, allowing it to comfortably cater for a sizeable crowd early on a Saturday evening. The widest part of the pub is to the front, where a lounge area of sorts can be found, offering comfortable seating options under pastel shaded walls with various local pictures on show. Two fireplaces, recently uncovered as part of the refurbishment, can be seen to either side and there were a couple of TV screens showing muted live football. The servery is in the pub's mid-section, running along the right hand wall with a dark wood counter and spiral-design pillars, plus a couple of 'Bowling Green' mirrors on the bar back. A couple of high tables and stools stand directly opposite whilst to the left there is a recessed area with some comfier seats arranged under modern floral wallpaper, another TV screen and some random breweriana. Notably, the pub's name has been spelled out in over-sized Scrabble letters across one of the ceiling beams here. Further back, the pub narrows into a long seating area with most of the options being arranged down the left hand side. High tables and benches give way to pews and standard chairs in a raised rear, carpeted section. Lots more local photos and TV screens can be found and at the very back of the room there is a pool table.
Part of the pub's new direction is based around a commitment to providing a good range of real ales and the hand pumps on this visit offered Titanic Cappuccino and Black Berry Gold, Sharp's Doom Bar, Marstons Pedigree, Magpie Hoppily Ever After and a house beer badged as Stonegate Hoof Hearted. Two real ciders rounded out the range. I enjoyed a good pint of the Black Berry Gold served to me by one of the chipper bar team.
I didn't know this pub in it's Scream days, but I can only assume this is a significant improvement on its previous incarnation. Whilst the refit certainly makes the place feel very contemporary, much has been done to try and bring back some of this old building's character and over time I suspect this will become increasingly apparent. A good option when touring the city centre and a solid gain for the Leicester drinking scene.

On 9th February 2016 - rating: 7
[User has posted 2512 recommendations about 2512 pubs]

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

Alice Hartley left this review about The Polar Bear

This really is the best Scream pub in Leicester, and possibly the best pub in Leicester. The prices are cheap and the atmosphere is great and has a really homely, cosy, welcoming feel to it.

What makes it the fact that it is better than the other Scream bars is the fact that this one sells real ale and usually has Tiger or something equally as tasty for a really good price.

The food is simple but cooked really well and also very cheap... especially if you go with a friend and get the 2 meals for £6 deal... or if you are feeling really hungry, get that for yourself :)

Hope you have a good time.

On 4th January 2011 - rating: 10
[User has posted 1 recommendations about 1 pubs]

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

Mikey Brown left this review about The Polar Bear

first of of THE BEST and CHEAPEST student pubs in Leicester!
If your familiar with scream bars then you'l know about The "quids" nights, they are something to look forward too! Most drinks on a Thursday after 6.00 are priced at A stunning £1.25!

Personally I recommend the famous bear and burger!
also has a juke box and arcade games, as well as smoking area, pool tables and leather couches, making the polar bear home to many of the friendly students of Leicester, but don't is a student bar but humans are welcome too! :P
Enjoy the polar bear!

On 6th September 2010 - rating: 8
[User has posted 1 recommendations about 1 pubs]