the_bear_camberwell

The Bear: A Bar and Kitchen Like no Other

Thursday 16th May 2024 |

The Bear (296A Camberwell New Rd, London SE5 0RP) is the creation of Joe Sharratt and Teddy Roberts. A venue that brings together three of life’s greatest pleasures; food, drink and music, it hits all of the right spots.

Joe Sharratt has had an impressive culinary career to date. Having started out at Petrus working alongside Marcus Wareing, he soon moved to join Adam Byatt and his team at Trinity, where he was head chef for five years. In 2015 Joe launched the highly acclaimed Naughty Piglets in Brixton, which is where he met Teddy. Keen to learn to cook like his friend, Joe trained Teddy and they worked alongside each other for two years. In 2023 the duo wanted to open a place that combined great food, with Teddy’s passion for music and both their love for an exceptional drink – and The Bear was born.

Having originally opened as just a bar and music venue, in February 2024 they opened Kitchen Counter at The Bear. Adjacent to the bar,

Designed to encourage interaction with the kitchen brigade, here everything you eat is served by Joe and his team who have cooked it. A daily changing menu means no seat at the counter is ever the same and each dish takes its inspiration from the seasons. Made up of small plates designed to share, conviviality is at the core of The Bear experience. The arrival of spring sees England at its most abundant, meaning the kitchen counter is currently serving dishes such as English asparagus with curry leaf mayonnaise and Cornish brill with crab bisque and Jersey Royals. Joe has also just perfected his focaccia recipe meaning ordering the bread is a must.

On Sundays the food at The Bear extends beyond the kitchen counter and into the main pub area. Here the Sunday menu is designed for families and larger groups to digest their week over a menu made up of four starters, four mains and two puddings. Current options include beef carpaccio to start followed by duck Kyiv and lemon curd donuts to finish. Stay too long and you can join the Paul Partridge pub quiz – a Sunday evening sellout. It’s the perfect opportunity to show off your mastermind skills, or drown your lack of at the afterparty.

Designed to ensure maximum enjoyment, good times at The Bear aren’t just about the food – drink and music is equally important and is what drives the front of the pub, which Teddy oversees.

In Teddy and Joe’s own words “whatever we offer and serve at The Bear has to be the best in class” and the cocktails, beer, wine and music are no exception. Cocktails are shaken and stirred with the best spirits and mixers to create a list of dreams – try Mexican Firing Squad (Olmeca tequila, lime and grenadine), or White Negroni (Plymouth gin, Lillet Blanc and Suze). All wine is organic and courtesy of the legendary Thierry Talibon and his infamous Les Cave De Pyrennes – curated to pair perfectly with the food, they can be enjoyed solo too.

The music is what connects the whole space. Teddy himself is a trained musician and baffled by anyone who doesn’t listen to music all day long. With esteemed record store Dash the Henge on their doorstep, The Bear were quick to forge a close neighbourly relationship meaning no record isn’t spun. A weekly changing schedule of musical moments features the likes of Soft Tuesday with Ed from Balham to BYOB Wednesday (bring ya own bangers) and guilty pleasure Saturday with Swedish Lollypop – The Bear provides multiple occasions and excuses to listen, dance, sing, or even be the DJ.

And if that wasn’t enough, art is another part of The Bear’s eclectic makeup. Guest artists are rotated every six weeks. Martyn Lee Smith’s art currently adorns the walls with ceramicist/painter Janey Sharratt (aka Joe’s Mum) soon to arrive. All items are for sale, but most importantly like everything at The Bear, it is there for the punter’s enjoyment.

Be it a cocktail at the bar, a pint with friends, dinner at the kitchen counter, or just to read the paper whilst enjoying the music – The Bear offers something for everyone, and everything for everyone. Delivered with skill, charm and passion this is an idiosyncratic venue where what you experience is always unique, leaving you with an appetite for more.