Plan to re-open Old White Bear in Hampstead given green light as owner pledges ‘community hub’

PUBLISHED: 12:48 19 January 2017 | UPDATED: 22:58 24 January 2017

Campaigners dress up to save the Old White Bear in Well Road. Picture: Nigel Sutton

Campaigners dress up to save the Old White Bear in Well Road. Picture: Nigel Sutton

© Nigel Sutton email

A plan to resurrect the Old White Bear pub in Hampstead by sharing its upper floors with a school has been given the go-ahead.

The Old White Bear       Picture: Google MapsThe Old White Bear Picture: Google Maps

Owner and Hampstead resident Dan Brod said he is “delighted” the 300-year-old drinking hole will serve the area for the first time since February 2014, praising campaigners who fought to save it.

He added: “We will be doing our best to accommodate even the smallest of concerns raised, as we now move to get this much-loved local institution open again.”

Only one resident objected to the scheme, citing worries about increased traffic around New End Square, but Camden Council said no additional congestion is expected.

The operators of the pub hope to have it open again by early 2018.

Dan Brod of Bramley Bars UK Limited             Picture: Dan BrodDan Brod of Bramley Bars UK Limited Picture: Dan Brod

According to the plan, the Well Road pub will share the top floors with Hampstead Preparatory School while the vacant site’s ground floor is extensively refurbished.

The school will use the site between 8am and 6pm only, accessing the upper floors through a separate entrance, and in the evening the pub will have full control.

The planning application explained: “This sub-let in the short and medium period will help to generate a regular income to help contribute to the refurbishment of the pub and help secure its ongoing long-term viability.”

It added that the school “urgently require[s] additional accommodation” near to its middle school site in New End.

Mr Brod, whose pub operator firm Bramley Bard UK Limited owns award-winning watering holes in the South West of England, told the Ham&High that the White Bear is “very personal” to him.

He said: “It is where as children my brother and I would get rewarded with a cold lemonade after a Sunday afternoon walk on the Heath. Then later as a teenager, when the observed rules were somewhat different, one of the haunts we frequented, sometimes (possibly) with teachers.”

He added: “I reminisce for the Hampstead I remember as a child which was more of a mixed community than it is now. Most of Hampstead’s pubs have disappeared, as have many of the independent shops, and I truly believe that it is pubs that can help keep Hampstead a real village.”

“In an increasingly secular and techno-centric digital world, people somehow seem to me less community focussed then ever and I want this pub to be a genuine hub of its community helping bring back the more wholesome Hampstead I remember.”

Related articles


Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other Hampstead Highgate Express visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by Hampstead Highgate Express staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique Hampstead Highgate Express account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

Latest Hampstead & Highgate News Stories

57 minutes ago

The husband of West Hampstead mum Nazanin has urged our government to publicly deny that she is a spy and proclaim her innocence, after the Supreme Court rejected an appeal against her five-year sentence.


Candidates hit the streets over the weekend as the general election campaign kicked off.

Yesterday, 07:00

A mural to commemorate Prince on the anniversary of his death has been unveiled outside the Electric Ballroom, in Camden.

Saturday, April 22, 2017

It will be a relief to many that a watering hole in St John’s Wood dating back more than 200 years will stand to serve another pint on May 2.

Friday, April 21, 2017

Shadow Brexit secretary Sir Keir Starmer has dismissed Liberal Democrats’ claims that they are the only opposition to the Tories and that voting for them could halt Brexit.

Friday, April 21, 2017

A group of teachers from a Muswell Hill school paid a visit to Singapore over the Easter break in a bid to expand their outlook on the teaching of maths.

Friday, April 21, 2017

The woman, aged 24, is still being treated in hospital for “life-changing injuries” five days after the crash in Elgin Avenue.

Friday, April 21, 2017

The husband of a West Hampstead mum being held in an Iranian jail has spoken of his shock after a special tree adorned with yellow ribbons for her was attacked.

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Most read Hampstead & Highgate news


Show Job Lists

Digital Edition


Enjoy the
Hampstead & Highgate Express
e-edition today


Education and Training


Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now