Friday, April 29, 2011
No. 39 The Bear and Billet
Visited on 28/4/11. The Bear and Billet is an original 17th century black and white half timbered building (as opposed to the Victorian copies so beloved by American tourists, which make up most of Chester's town centre). However, despite its provenance, for many years it had a deserved reputation as a den of iniquity frequented by criminals, drug dealers, sundry miscreants and worst of all, hippies. All this changed following a lengthy period of closure in the 1990s though, after which the current owners took charge. Despite severe planning restrictions, the interior of the building was sympathetically but radically altered and transformed into what is quite frankly a magnificent pub. Yes, it does a lot of food trade, but this is still primarily a drinking venue with an impressive selection of ales from Isle of Man brewer Okell's along with plenty of guest and European beers. The staff are knowledgeable and courteous and the atmosphere is lively. Can't really think of anything negative to say. This is a great place.