As the name suggests, Black Bear is a friendly neighbourhood pub with a casual atmosphere and satisfying menu. Brunch served on weekends and holidays.
I figured it was time to give some business to a local spot, so my wife and I piled into the car and headed to BB. We had a mixed experience. When we got there, we asked the helpful server if we could have a seat on the patio, which overlooks the Safeway. We sat at the bar, ordered beer, and prepared to be patient. The bartender was quick and friendly, and we soon had frosty glasses in our hands. After watching other newcomers jam onto the patio to be seated by the same hostess, we asked when our table might be ready. The reply was that one of us should stake out a table and wait for cleanup. Mrs. Chasiubow volunteered and snagged a table. Alas, there was but one chair. I asked if I might have another and I was told no. I jokingly suggested I bring my own next time, and I was coldly told “No, you can’t”. Lovely.
I stood and ordered a buffalo blue cheese burger, and my wife ordered the ‘prime ribs’, which turned out to be giant ribs with BBQ sauce. Both the burger and ribs were tasty, but not exceptional. The pub does have a good selection of beers which are about average in price, and they are the main attraction. After wresting a chair away from a departing patron, I sat for the last part of my meal and finished my beer.
The ambience of the place is pub-like, and it seemed decent enough. I was amazed by the incredible bitchiness of out server though, and I will eat elsewhere. I don’t need to stand for that. Plus I like to sit down when I eat. So call me particular…
Why did our party of 8's burger orders take 45 min? The pub is located in North Van mall and the ambiance is nice, if you ignore the video gaming booths. My jerk chicken burger was tasty, well-seasoned and the toppings were fresh. But the menu didn't have wings or other "pub grub" it was just brunch items, burger/sandwiches, soups and salads. More variety on the menu would have been nice.
A slightly above-average pub.
The food isn't special - regular pub fare, no surprises. The one particular attraction that I like is that you can order whole-wheat buns for your burgers - an awesome option for those of us who want taste, but without the really starchy white carbohydrates. The burgers, fish, and appetizers are all well cooked, but fairly indistinguishable from any other decent pub's.
The inside is... poor. The decor is nice, yes. The atmosphere is friendly, yes. But the inside is also far too tiny, cramped, and seems to be intended to pack in as many people as possible, like some sort of wooden sardine can. During hockey games, or even just on a busy night, you're crammed in with barely a couple of feet between tables, have to wait forever, and generally receive slow (but not "poor") service from an under-staffed establishment.
I'd recommend this place during off-peak hours, but avoid it on hockey nights, or during prime time.
On our way to pick our daughter from the ferry. Decided to stop in for dinner. Heard of it before and looked forward to givin it a try. The ambiance was quite interesting, as the outer building looked like a rangers building you would find in a provincial park. We decided to sit out on the patio.
We both order the sirloin burgers with mushrooms, bacon, and swiss. When I first read the menu it said sirloin burgers $12.99. So when I got a processed hamburger patty that I could have picked up at cosco I was seriously diasapointed. The other part of this was it was scorched a bit and dry as a bone- clearly overcooked. When I go out for a sirloin burger, I expect a home made patty that is moist and juicy. This burger was no better than a monthly promotion at A&W.
My wife had a sleeve of Rickards white and when I saw the bill, I couldn't believe they charged me $6. Anywhere else in the lower mainland this beer is $6 for a pint.
In my opinion this place takes advantage of the "comfortably" off people in the neighborhood and over charges their product and don't follow it up with quality.
Unfortunately we will never be back. Too bad cause the menu was small, but in concept, was a little more intersting than your average pub. Unfortunately the kitchen failed to produce.
Seems that the portions have gotten smaller and the pulled pork (a regular of mine) is only okay with a minimal amount of bbq sauce - you have to ask for more. Memphis Blues has the better deal if you want pulled pork. The Black Bear fish and chips are still pretty good (but not terrific). Best to ask for salad dressing on the side as it can be overpowering and bit to acidic.
Whenever we make it into the area, we go to the Black Bear. It is absolutely spectacular. It is a nice cozy little neighborhood pub. You feel comfortable there in your most casual attire. The service is friendly and better than most restaurants.
The food is the real standout. I would be happy getting this food in the best restaurants. The clam chowder is delicious, and rich. The meatloaf is surprisingly good, very moist and flavourful, and very beefy.
The burgers are excellent as well. I highly recommend this pub if you're looking for something good to eat. Again, better than a lot of restaurants.
The Black Bear is consistently packed because there isn't a single other pub within a 5km radius. The menu is typical Vancouver pub fare, but I can't think of a single dish on the menu that isn't done better somewhere else, & I've tried most of the dishes in an attempt to find a reason to keep going back.
The nachos in particular are horrific - a handful of cheddar cheese, one raw jalapeno pepper and half a tomato schlepped onto an entire bag of tortilla chips & stuck in the oven. Less than a quarter of the chips have topping on them - a $10 (small size) disappointment.
If I had any other local choices, I'd never go back. C'mon restauranteurs, you've got a captive audience in Lynn Valley who crave alternatives to a mediocre pub!
How does a neighbourhood pub maintain this quality for so many years? It's like stopping time. More surprising is that any ambiance can exist in a purpose-built place in the middle of a grocery store parking lot! But exist it does. The Bear theme is well executed, right down to adorable photos of grizzly cubs, and there are plenty of cozy tables for two. The designer of this place deserves a lot of credit.
More importantly, the food is truly remarkable. There is something here for everyone, from the health-conscious to the calorie-hound. I love the mussels; every version of them! The daily soup is usually a rib-sticker, and there are several "light" options for a between-meal nosh that won't spoil your appetite (or diet). I look forward to the afternoon feature sheet; there is always something exciting there.
When this place is packed, service can be compromised. To the reviewer with the bad experience, I say give it another chance. Try between 2 and 4pm for a quieter time.
This pub is perfect for the "non-pub" patron. If you hate that "beer parlour" persona of so many pubs, worry no more. Just walk straight in that door and make it your own.
I thought I would head out here to have a couple pitchers and watch the Canuck's game for my friends Birthday, growing up in Lynn Valley I used to love this place. At first everything was fine, we found a seat, our Waitress appeared to be nice at first, asking us what we would like to drink etc. My friend got the Tortellini with chicken, but after seeing, and smelling what I saw, I quickly decided I would just drink. It was mostly cold by the time it got there, and it literally smelled like my feet after a Soccer game. When the game ended, we decided to order one more pitcher, and then hit the road, lets say that wasnt going to happen. We got a stone cold face from our waitress, No you guys have had 3 Pitchers now and you have 9 people at your table, ( she counted the table of acquaintances next to us as part of our table ) so you guys are cut off... what? My friends who had only ordered one pitcher ordered another, but as soon as she returned with it, made off with me and my friends glasses, not allowing us to even try and have some of the Beer. My friend took a sip of the recent Pitcher, and it was like a Cat on a mouse, the waitress power tripped across the crowded bar, told us all shes charging us 15 percent saying "Way to go guys !!!, you just screwed yourselfs over!" This women just was unhappy, and did not wanna be doing what she was doing. I felt like i was in High school, since when is a man NOT allowed to drink Beer freely when he is paying for it? When she returned with the bill, we saw she had tipped herself 16 percent!!!!
I will never, ever be coming back to the Black Bear, nor will any of my friends. I suggest Browns right across the parking lot, friendly, young Waitresses who want to be there, and a great menu.
Went with my sister and her husband on their last day before returning to England, ordered Nachos, a large of which I think is a small, along with extras, beef, guacamole, of which we were charged an extra 3.50 for the beef, of I am sure was no more than a tablespoon and totally overcooked. We mentioned this to our server and her reply was I'll take it back then" not to offer to improve it. She was totally rude. Very poor service. The chicken wings were scrawny, our mains were cold. The prices are inflated and they have made the portions much smaller.
We will never eat there again. They have become complacent over the years, so our new pub of choice is Seymours, which has good service and great food.
I've been a semi regular at the Black Bear for the last year and I agree with the other reviews - it's gone downhill.
If all you want is a beer and a chat with some friends, the place is fine. But the food quality has really gone downhill in the last year and it's no longer a place I'll go for food. Plus, they are changed the menu to have "tapas" or smaller plates, but I think it's just a way for them to get more revenue by forcing people to add fries, salad to an order where they used to come for free with the dish. Almost $10 for 5 ribs and a tablespoon of coleslaw is not right.
From the sounds of the reviews on this site, the BB better smarten up or they are in danger of losing their most valuable clientelle completely - the regulars.
ihave been going ti the Black Bear Pub for years but with all the staff changes and such small servings on the food I will not be back. Thats sad because I have been going here for 6 years now but the staff and owners which are also new just dont care about the bad food being offered and the slow service bye bye Black Bear Pub.
Having been a regular customer (1-2 times a week) for the past 7 years, I have to say that I have been so disappointed in my last few visits that I don't think we'll be going back.
Used to friendly service, being recognized and greeted by staff, having them know our favourite orders and drinks is what made this our neighborhood pub. Well, there have been a lot of staff changes lately - all new, and not that great. Also, food orders are now often wrong (no mushrooms on burger, no chipotle mayo brought) and the food is served luke-warm at best.
When I bring this up to servers, they apologize and offer to fix it. Unfortunately, most of the time we are too hungry to wait for the new food. Nothing else is done to remedy the situation.
For the first time in my life, I left without tipping a server, and left a hand-written note on the back of the bill, leaving my name and number in case anyone was interested - no one has called.
It's a shame it's so small. Everything about the pub is great except the size. I guess when it was built they didn't realize how popular it would become. Sometimes there are absolutely NO seats available. Food is awesome, just depends how patient you are. Maybe one day they will be able to expand into the side parking lot of Safeway.
The BB has a brunch menu on weekends from 11-2 and have amazing bennys and other great things to order...and they have the best ceaser drinks ever! On the weekend brunch menu, they dont serve some of the pub grub (wings, nachos) until 2pm ONLY ON WEEKENDS.
The service it always amazing and friendly and you can see how everyone works together.
This is my favorite pub on the North Shore. The reason they've won my heart is simple - they're consistent.
The menu is diversified - so anyone will find something to their taste. The beers are excellent and the service is friendly and prompt. One of the standout things about the service is the number of servers who have been there for years. It is kind of nice to get recognition when one goes into an establishment only fairly regularly (1 - 2 times per month).
Best menu item: Thai Mussels!
Keep this great eatery in mind when you want solid food and service without any pomp. Bring your wallet though, it 'ain't cheap!
I agree with the other recent reviews. If it was not the only place in Lynn Valley, I would not go back. The place has always been poorly laid out with no real atmosphere, but at least it had good food. Not any more. Bad food at any price is a poor value, and this place is actually quite expensive for a pub. Find somewhere else.
If this place wasn't the only pub in LV it would be long since closed. Replacing the terrible service and great food of a few years back is average service and terrible food. Small portions with inflated prices make for poor value. I had the fish and chips for $15. Very average and was still hungry after. My wife enjoyed her burger but sent her coleslaw back. They apologised saying they'd taken it from the old morning batch by mistake.....that's comforting. We were charged for 2 beer we never had and the one we did have was 80 cents more than on the menu. Inside is nice. The deck has a great view of a mall parking lot and the steady stream of cooks and servers heading out the side door for cigarettes. They probably will survive on locals that have no other option, but not from this local. Will try the place across the parking lot by the library that just reopened next time.
We love coming to the black bear. It has great burgers, fries to die for, Strongbow and a great ambiance.
It is a true neighbourhood pub. Staff are friendly, food is good, service is OK. when there is a game on the ambiance is excellent.
The look of the pub is also great it has wooden beams and very homey looking.
The Bear has changed. We used to enjoy our snacks and drinks there, but the service and food has changed and not for the better. Very poor wine selection if you're looking for a decent bottle to go with dinner, and try not to order a cocktail other than a screwdriver because the kids behind the bar are sure to get it wrong. Service was ok and seating has always been difficult. If you want a beer and fries, this might be your place, but Vancouver has so much to offer in the way of great food, it's not for us.