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|Address:||62 Stamford Street, London SE1 9LX|
|Tel:||0207 928 5354|
|Opening Hours:||Mon-Sat 12N-1am (Sun -12M)|
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Unfortunately The Thirsty Bear feels a bit in the middle of nowhere (it's a long, unattractive walk in a pair of heels from Waterloo!) and the atmosphere inside reflects this. There are large TV screens dotted around showing a football match and despite the fact that it's a Wednesday night, the only clientele seems to be a few old men who were probably coming here before all London pubs got gentrified or trendified and a couple of students who aren't going to be spending the bucks no doubt needed to recoup the set up costs of this innovative pub. The draw is the “pull your own pint” concept and modern techno gimmickery for ordering non-hop related items. But not every table has a working computer screen and even fewer tables have a beer pump so unless you are at one of those, you're just in a slightly random pub. Service (which you need for anything except the beer, and even the beer at the non-pump tables) is very friendly. We don't really get to sample the food because the kitchen shuts at 9pm (this is London, people!) although, as we beg, the chef kindly cooks up a couple of bowls of pub-worthy chips at 5 mins past the hour. Probably a great venue for groups of beer-drinking boys on a big night out (if you reserve a pump table) but that's it I'm afraid. It's a shame as the idea is fun and, in the same way places such as Yo Sushi opened our eyes to new food service concepts, had the potential to to add a new string to London's drinking bow. The owners should be lauded for trying something different but sadly I don't think this particular incarnation of the techno pub, thanks largely to the location, is going to be the one which heralds the future of the British pub. See the Fulham Wine Rooms for a really slick, professional version of the self-service concept.