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The Bear & Staff, Leicester Square, WC2

10-12 Bear Street
Phone: 02073210814

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Pub Type

Nicholsons (Mitchells & Butlers)
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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.

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

Usually busy, as one would expect from a well-placed Theatreland pub, with a small bar at street level supplemented by a side room and the Chaplin Bar (dining area) upstairs. As a Nicholson's, I found the 'house' Pale Ale on one of the six handpumps on this visit, together with Doom Bar, London Pride, Brick Field Brown from Five Points, St Austell Mandarina Bavaria and Wild Beer's Pogo. In my experience you get prompt and efficient service by the bar staff, and with the beers kept in good condition this is definitely one of the better pubs in the area.

On 8th November 2019 - rating: 7
[User has posted 6198 recommendations about 6198 pubs]

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

hondo . left this review about The Bear & Staff

Quite a small Nicholson’s pub across from the tube station.

On 10th October 2019 - no rating submitted
[User has posted 2719 recommendations about 2662 pubs]

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Graham Coombs left this review about The Bear & Staff

A fairly small and busy pub with a tidy and rather understated interior, supplemented by an upstairs bar/dining room. Regular ales are Doom Bar, London Pride, Nicholson's house beer and up to 3 guests.

On 2nd October 2018 - rating: 7
[User has posted 2266 recommendations about 2214 pubs]

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custodian 42 left this review about The Bear & Staff

Smallish Nicholson's outlet with upstairs diner and six hand pumps of which I sampled Hopback Winter Lightning @ 5.5% ABV. Also standard keg stuff including Punk IPA and Hop House 13. This place was built in 1714 and took its present name in 1878 taken from the crest of the Neville family (Earls of Warwick).

On 15th February 2017 - rating: 6
[User has posted 1673 recommendations about 1671 pubs]

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Real Ale Ray left this review about The Bear & Staff

A corner street Nicholson's pub with one main room and bar area along the facing wall. There was also a small room to the side, which was wallpapered, also there was a dining room upstairs. Quite a few people were having a bite to eat on our visit. This is very much a tourist pub, hence its location. Six ales on hand pump, I went for the Fullers Steel Blonde Ale, which is brewed in collaboration with Steel City Brewing, according to the pump clip. Mrs A went for the Triple FFF, Pressed Rat and Warthog.

On 14th January 2014 - rating: 6
[User has posted 2976 recommendations about 2976 pubs]

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john gray left this review about The Bear & Staff

Another Nicolsons pub with about 5 beer on.My pint of Great western -Edwins ruby porter was superb. Young foreign barmaid seemed confused with the till ,handpump then change but the friendly manager sorted it out.Sat outside for about 10 minutes but got accosted by 2 tramps but its the West-end so it adds to the colour.

On 29th November 2013 - rating: 6
[User has posted 940 recommendations about 927 pubs]

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Quinno _ left this review about The Bear & Staff

Slap-bang in the midst of theatreland, this little pub is part of the Nicholsons chain so you know what you’re getting. Five of the six ales on during my visit (Pride, Moorhouse Black Cat, two Jubilee themed beers and St Austell Pale Ale 'brewed exclusively for Nicholsons'; Doom Bar was reversed clipped). The St Austell was pretty poor, flat and lifeless. Service was OK, though the single girl behind the bar could have easily been overwhelmed at any minute. The interior consists of two small rooms on the ground floor, the right hand of which was the tobacconist Inderwicks which the pub acquired and knocked through into in the early 90’s – a plaque on the wall of that room acknowledges its former life. Upstairs is a table service dining area. Décor is standard Nicholsons, with an additional smattering of movie and theatre posters/actors prints. Fairly dark inside, it’s at an angle which doesn’t really catch much sun. Its location means you get all sorts pitching up for a swift pint, described nicely elsewhere as “an unholy mix of tourists, people up to London for their big day out and the sort of baboons who think Leicester Square is ideal for a big night out.”

Given the area this place could be a lot worse and is certainly a notch above some of the competition. But it isn’t really a destination pub, more one of convenience.

On 5th September 2013 - rating: 6
[User has posted 3997 recommendations about 3985 pubs]

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Steve Segar left this review about The Bear & Staff

Wednesday 23/01/13 - Party of two. For a Wednesday night this establishment was very busy. We only just got the table by the door and had a short drink before popping up to the restaurant on the first floor. Here we stayed for a pre-show meal and were attentively served by the staff upstairs. The menu was well populated with pub familiars as well as some 'specials' listed on a board. I have to say that the food was extremely well presented, the portions were plentiful and very tasty. We had Salmon and a Cottage Pie followed by Apple Crumble and a Sundae. By the end we were rather stuffed.
To be fair the prices (when compared to other places around the country) were a couple of pounds more expensive per meal but for London (and particularly the area it is) they were extremely reasonable. I would recommend eating here. The service, location, ambiance and food were extremely good - so why not a 10 out of 10?
All to do with the drinks - I bought a pint of Lemonade and a normal coke downstairs in the pub at £4.80 (which I though was steep) but then had a normal glass of Lemonade upstairs at a whopping £3.16. Who are they kidding - I could have gone over the road to the tobacconist and bought a 2 liter bottle for £1.10. Would have been cheaper to buy beer (pity I don't like it) or the brewery!

On 27th January 2013 - rating: 8
[User has posted 77 recommendations about 74 pubs]

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Malden man left this review about The Bear & Staff

A very compact Nicholson's even with the 1990's acquisition of the former tobacconists shop next door. Located where it is on Charing Cross Rd and on the edge of Leicester Square, this place is always going to be busy with a transient and often not pub savvy clientele however the nominal staff seemed to be managing ok on Saturday afternoon, even if myself and other drinkers had to advise some tourists to go and order at the bar rather than sit and wait. The original pub area with the bar is wood floored, circular fluted columns hold up the upper parts and there is a nice central glass chandelier, there are a few high tables in front of the side windows. Up a couple of steps into the former shop there are tobacco related advertisements, former actors portraits and standard style seating. Outside there is further seating under an awning. A TV over the front door was switched off.
Not the most exciting range I've ever seen in a Nicholson's, Purity Ubu, Doom Bar, Pride, Thwaites Wainwright and Nicholson's Pale brewed by St Austell. Additionally there was Old Rosie cider.
There is apparently a dining room upstairs, named after apparent former patron Charlie Chaplin, but I didn't bother to have a look, I prized my seat too much.
Worth a look in if in the area, there are many worse pubs around this part of town.

On 26th August 2012 - rating: 6
[User has posted 1687 recommendations about 1663 pubs]

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

very wellinformed left this review about The Bear & Staff

I used to love this pub, when it was a pub, now M&B AKA Nicholsons have ruined it, more interested in food than beer, I visited on Monday eve, 8pm, one person behind the bar, except he wasn't, he was trying to carry three plates to a table, trust me it was painful to watch, in the meantime, a nice little queue of drinkers was forming, the pint of Golden ale i ordered was cloudy and sour, but the queue was such that i just left, i couldn't be bothered to wait to get it changed. If you are a pub, spend your wage budget on bar staff as well as kitchen staff. That way you will sell more beer, and not have the outside of the pub looking like a bombsite full of empty glasses and full ashtrays.

On 18th July 2012 - rating: 1
[User has posted 30 recommendations about 19 pubs]

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