The Thirsty Bear is London’s first self-service pub. A bar without a bar. Visitors exchange their card for a swipe card, which are used at any of the beer taps located across the space.
The taps measure each millimeter served and charge it to your card. Awkward moment guaranteed when you end up charged for four pints and one-third. The iPads allow you to order Guinness, Ales and other more complicated beverages like cocktails, which are delivered direct to your table from the local bar downstairs.
It’s not only drinks that you can order from the iPads. You can surf the web, play tunes on the on the jukebox and order an array of burgers, hot dogs and other pub grub too, including a very expensive build your own burger.
This seems the perfect set up for live sport. Huge screens everywhere make sure that you can see the action from anywhere and you’re guaranteed to not miss a single part of the sport, without a trip to the bar needed.
The food was disappointing. The bun was well …..let’s just not talk about that. We ordered three burgers, one straight from the menu and two that we built. The burger straight from the menu was well, crap. At least all the burgers come with a double patty.
The two ‘Build Your Own’, that we had ordered were veggie and lamb. However, the veggie burger was accompanied by what was supposed to go with the lamb burger and vice versa. The staff were very polite in response but sadly our visit was just a set of tragic errors, including us having to wait over 30 minutes for three pints – two of which were flat.
The Thirsty Bear is a pub with a lot of promise. But not one that we’d ever revisit. And we urge you to not to waste your time with it either.