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Stokey Bears expands into Islington with pub and fast-food joint

Burger Bears is opening a fast food branch of its highly-acclaimed burger restaurant on Holloway Road and relaunching the Horatia Pub as The Three Bears.

The company behind Stokey Bears is transforming the popular pub and relaunching it and has even been brewing its own pilsner beer called Goldilocks.

Founder Tom Reaney said: “It’ll still be a pub but the idea is craft beer and craft burgers. We’ll still be an Arsenal pub on match days but will be banging the burgers out the rest of the time.

“We’ll be serving all the Stokey Bears’ favourites but are widening the menu to include smoked meat platters and a lot more chicken.

“The Horatia already has its own crowd - we’ve run various pop-ups there over the last few years and know from these that fast food works best.”

"We’re all about good food and good music and making people want to come back and bring their family.”

The pub, which has a license until 2am, has been stripped back to the bare bones and will remain open while it’s given a makeover in the next few weeks. The new Stokey Bears fast food place, which opens its doors in the next few days, had been a boarded-up shop for years. It’s next to the Horatia so a joint operation is the perfect set up.

Tom, who learnt his cooking skills from his aunt (renowned chef and restaurateur Laura Hamilton) as a boy in Leamington Spa, went on to work in bars and opened his first burger business ‘Burger Bear’ in a Haringey school in 2012. He opened Stokey Bears almost three years ago and now, with his business partner Charles Bakker, has big plans for new restaurants.

Meat-lovers rave about Stokey Bears’ Bacon Jam (secret ingredients include Jack Daniels, coffee, tabasco, bacon and sugar).

Burger Bears has branches in Stoke Newington (Stokey Bears) and Peckham (The Old Nuns Head) and also runs the Magic Roundabout in Old Street.

Tom added: “It’s definitely not about the money – it’s all about the glory. We’re all about good food and good music and making people want to come back and bring their family.”

Stokey Bears is among the businesses offering discounts to members of the Local Buyers Club. Join now for just £12 per year.

* picture credit: Andre Ainsworth, pictures supplied by Burger Bear


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