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Shepherd Neame has enhanced Faversham’s oldest pub with a £60,000 refurbishment.
The Kent brewer has retained The Bear Inn’s historic charm – such as its traditional three-bar system of a saloon bar, public bar and snug – while boosting its modern comforts.
Licensees Chris and Marie Annand are delighted with the result. Chris explained: “We have added new fixtures and fittings and returned to the traditional colour scheme, using blues and greens. We have kept a lot of the memorabilia, as well as putting up some original pictures from the pub and the local area.”
He said: “One great feature is the bespoke lamp fitted over the bar, very similar to the gas lamp captured in a Victorian photo of the pub. We have put up a display of floor plans from the early 19th century when the frontage was added.”
It is understood that some of the oak beams in the main bar were originally part of a ship built at the nearby boatyard. The refurbishment also uncovered some original wood panelling, which has been restored.
The Bear Inn, thought to be 500 years old, was bought by Shepherd Neame in 1736.
Situated opposite the Guildhall, the pub was well placed for customers to witness many of the town’s important historical events. These would have included a visit by Queen Elizabeth I and the town’s role in the Glorious Revolution of 1688 when King James II was captured by fishermen as he attempted to flee William of Orange’s successful invasion.
The Bear Inn is a popular town centre pub, which has featured in the Good Beer Guide for the last three years and serves traditional English pub food favourites, such as steak and kidney pudding, smoked haddock and toad in the hole.
It is a regular part of Faversham's folk music scene. It hosts an open mic spot and stages quiz nights.
Shepherd Neame property and tenanted trade director George Barnes: “This pub is a real treasure, with its saloon bar, public bar and snug. The refurbishment is befitting of such an important and iconic Faversham pub.”
Forthcoming events at The Bear Inn include:
• Sports quiz - every third Monday of the month
• General knowledge quiz - last Wednesday of the month