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The Thirsty Bear, SE1

62 Stamford Street

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Reviews (Current Rating Average: 6 of 10) Add Review see review guidelines

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

hondo . left this review about The Thirsty Bear

Quite a dark L shaped bare boarded interior. 3 real ales. Didn’t visit upstairs.

On 26th October 2019 - no rating submitted
[User has posted 2736 recommendations about 2679 pubs]

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

Malden man left this review about The Thirsty Bear

A split level boarded place with a central bar. The room returns around beyond the bar where there is a dartboard, a bar football table and a huge chalkboard covered in pointless statements. It is a curious place, many of the larger tables feature an interactive screen from which you can order drinks or even pay and pour your own fizz using a smartcard. I have encountered this gimmick once before somewhere in Chelsea some years ago. Naturally I eschewed this means of service and went to the bar where they had Ilkley Pale, Tribute and Thistly Cross cider on the three handpumps.
The interior is of little merit, some exposed brick columns and a bit of panelling on the walls. Another area is upstairs but I couldn't be bothered to look. TVs on brick piers were both off.
The toilet door signage is a bit risqué and would appeal to a sniggering schoolboy and the urinals are converted beer kegs. One to look into for a bit of novelty value but not to return to in my book.

On 22nd March 2016 - rating: 5
[User has posted 1687 recommendations about 1663 pubs]

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Just a quick pint, then I'm off left this review about The Thirsty Bear

Not been back in since the Stamford Arms days, but the previously unremarkable pub has been refurbished and modernised somewhat. The jumbled arrangement of seating and drinking areas remains, as does the upstairs seating area (never visited). The only real points of note are the technology-enabled tables with ordering screens and their own lager taps (although I didn't actually see anybody using them). Thankfully, there is still real ale available from two of three handpumps: Windsor & Eton and Canberra and Tiny Rebel Chtch (£3.90). File under novelty value...

On 1st December 2013 - rating: 6
[User has posted 6199 recommendations about 6199 pubs]

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Steve of N21 left this review about The Stamford Arms

Well Rex, the ambience of a real pub is no longer and firmly swept away.
Having undergone a major makeover in January this year, it is now more of a marketing concept for the future of city bars than a traditional boozer and has been rebranded as the Thirsty Bear.
Now owned by a company called the Robot pub group, which appears to be two former IT consultants who bought the place for around £200K , and have turned it into a technology driven self service pub.
The traditional pub interior has been swept away and replaced with the usual bland sterile modern bar restaurant space but the difference here is that the modern wooden tables now have their own chrome lager taps and an enclosed iPad ordering system which allows you to pour your own beer or order drinks and food that is then delivered to your table.
The proper bar still supports the more interesting drinks and bottles that cannot be directly dispensed at the table and these still include two ale hand pumps that were dispensing Deuchars IPA and CW Bombardier. According to the leading bar staff member this pub provides not having to ever queue at a busy bar and wait for a drink ever again. Well that may be so if you actually drink the dead products that can be dispensed at the table, but after ordering a pint of IPA through the console and having to wait for it to be poured and brought to the table I could have drunk two if I’d have walked to the bar and ordered it directly.
Anyway, that’s my colours firmly nailed to the mask as far as this place is concerned. I will not rate it as a real ale drinking traditional pub enthusiast I am clearly not the target demographic for this place and I’ll leave it up to the bright young things of the surrounding digital marketing and PR companies to judge if this is the type of place that has a future once the gimmick has worn off..

On 19th July 2012 - no rating submitted
[User has posted 1712 recommendations about 1661 pubs]

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Rex Rattus left this review about The Stamford Arms

Just Ringwood’s Best Bitter (£3.40 a pint), with three pumps sporting reversed clips. No sign of any food or menus during my Wednesday afternoon visit. It looks as if the pub has expanded into a neighbouring property in Broadwall at some stage, giving it another room reached through a wide entrance to the left of the main bar. This back room is carpeted with a few tables, as well as having a tall pedestal table and stools being used as a drinks stand for the group of young lads enjoying an enthusiastic game of darts in here. The front main room is bare-boarded with some normal tables and chairs scattered around, and a ledge attached to a balustrade complete with tall stools. There’s a mall raised balustraded area on the left with a couple of tables and chairs and a blackboard in front of it saying “private functions early”. Fair enough if you’ve got a function, but when you haven’t (as was the case during my visit) it might make sense to move the sign and let others use the area.
Nevertheless, I quite like this place as it has the ambience of a real pub. It’s hard for me to put my finger on exactly what’s good about it – the decor and furnishings are nothing to write home about – I just like it. Perhaps it was the pubbishness of the activities going on in there, such as the lively game of darts on the go, the couple of blokes propping up the bar chatting to the the barmaid, or perhaps I’ve been in too many plastic pubs recently and this one made a welcome contrast.

On 23rd December 2011 - rating: 7
[User has posted 2577 recommendations about 2495 pubs]

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John Bonser left this review about The Stamford Arms

Visited in May 2010

Situated just down the road from The Mad Hatter, on which I have just posted, is The Stamford Arms, a traditional and pleasant, if somewhat unremarkable single bar pub with a number of different drinking areas and an additional area upstairs which doubles up as a function room.

The pub is part of the Market Taverns Group - which of course includes the well known Market Porter and also The Carpenters Arms ( Marble Arch ) - and it was a pleasant surprise to meet and have a longish chat with friendly landlord, Nick, who used to be at The Market Porter.

On my late evening visit, 2 beers from Ringwood were on, plus Yellowhammer from O' Hanlons, which is now brewed in Devon. The Ringwood Best - £3.00p - was in good form. Overall, however, I didn't get the impression that the pub majored on real ale, unlike either the Market Porter or The Carpenters. Notably, despite prominently displaying the large Harvey's barrel logo by the entrance, Harveys beer is no longer stocked. Nick told me that The Stamford Arms is tied to the Enterprise Inns guest list and it would apparently be too expensive to stock.

This pub - situated in Southwark incidentally - is well worth a visit when you're in the area and I'll definitely revisit when I get the opportunity.

On 20th October 2010 - rating: 6
[User has posted 560 recommendations about 560 pubs]

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

Philip Carter left this review about The Stamford Arms

Sells real ale. Not a bad place, dining/bar area upstairs can be hired. Back area of the downstairs bar didn't have any seats except two stools at the bar.

On 26th January 2008 - rating: 6
[User has posted 753 recommendations about 716 pubs]