Blue Bear Tavern Finally Opens

Blue Bear Tavern finally opened its doors last Friday. The former Doc Watson’s is in soft opening mode with an introductory menu. The  team which includes Xavier Mariezcurrena (Union Trust), Tony Aiazzi and Executive Chef Billy Bilbo are going to be soliciting feedback from the neighborhood in preparation of a full menu and grand opening on October 14th.

Chef Gilbo who was slated to be the opening chef at American Oak before that project died on the vine, is preparing a menu of American classics at Blue Bear.

Blue Bear Tavern
216 S 11th St

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  • Meh.

    Very underwhelming. A year behind schedule and they open with that? Why bother? It offers nothing over what they had at Doc’s and certainly nothing worth making the 2 block trip from where I normally go. Meh. Sub-par execution from a sub-par group of wanna be restaurateurs.

  • barryg

    The refresh will at least allow them to get some new attention. Looks like they want to be slightly classier than Doc’s which is fine.

    I just want to know why bars are so afraid to put regular buffalo wings on the menu anymore.

  • GrowlerKing

    How do you open a bar in Philly in 2011 with THAT HORRID BEER LIST??!? Stone IPA is the only beer worth talking about. Who is asleep at the wheel?

  • Steve

    This place is destined to fail with those ridiculous beer prices! $6 for a bottle of local Yard’s Pale Ale??? What are they thinking?

  • GrowlerKing

    YARDS PALE ALE (which one guys? Philadelphia Pale Ale or IPA? fucking newbies) for $6?!?!??!??!?!?!?!??!?!??!?!

    This place can burn down like Spread Bagelry and no one would give a flying fuck.

  • Ryan


    While the beer menu isn’t anything too fancy, the Dogfish taps, the Founders Porter and 1-2 other choices are held in fairly high regard.

  • lilpit

    It’s a weak list. And WTF is “Claw Food”? For a sec I thought it was just a dumbass cutesy way of saying finger food but no, 3 of the 5 items are definitely not finger food. Claw Food? Slap.

  • Michael G

    I think the claw refers to the name of the place Blue Bear. Not inticing marketing but this place might be going more for the Irish Pub crowd as opposed to the foodie crowd or maybe it’s just going to suck.

  • Tex

    @ GrowlerKing: I think you missed the Coors Light on draft.

  • hh

    how the hell is a bottle of coors more than a draft!?!?

  • lilpit

    Michael G: Duh, that’s obvious. But what does it have to do with salads & shellfish? If it were foods you eat with hand, I’d get it, but…

  • lobster mushroom

    Come on, guys…they have Twisted Tea on their beer list. What more do you want?

  • BillG


    Dogfish 60 min is standard at best, and a buck over most of the rest of the city. The rotating may be cool, depending on what they have there, and the Founders Porter is a neat beer. But if that’s all they can come up with to start (and those prices are absurd), they’re not getting my business.

  • Meh

    Isn’t Xavier a sommelier? I’d think he’d push for more interesting beers given his knowledge of wine.

  • Ben

    I tried the mussels and clams at Blue Bear last night — they were absolutely amazing. Don’t hate on the food menu until you try it. The service was great too. Hopefully they develop a better beer list – if so, it will be the complete package.

  • lilpit


  • HappyJack

    WOW!! Who are you people?! Looked to me like there was a lot of hard work and great PEOPLE!! behind this venture. Beers can be added to a menu. It’s a little something called the 3 Tier System Growler Queen. Why the nastiness? Try dedicating yourself toward POSITIVE creation and perhaps you won’t be so quick to bash everything that doesn’t float by your turned up nose. Where would such anger over a beer list come from. I can think of a few reasons. . .

  • lilpit


  • HappyJack

    Just supporter.

  • HappyJack

    What are you?

  • BillG

    HappyJack- beer menus can change, I just don’t get the prices right now. Times are real tough, people are struggling, and here they are charging a buck or higher more than at almost any other bar in the neighborhood.

  • lilpit

    Me? I’m an informed hater. Was just there for happy hour. They suck – food is bleh, beer is half-assed. Sorry, but not sorry – this city has evolved to the point where you can’t bring it half-assed anymore.

  • Jo Anne

    Come on, give them a chance- the Blue Bear will rise beyond your expectations.

  • Olive

    Dear lilpit, is your name Jordan?

  • HappyJack

    Lilpit- competition? yeah that’s it!!!

  • HappyJack

    Growlerking. Might wanna lay off the Growlers. I think they’re getting to you. Alchohol is a depressant you know?

  • Space ace

    Lately foods been good a bit more public house ish though, I herd the two chefs and bar manager quit on the spot bet there is a juicy story there. Beers still cold. Interested to see what the new direction will be.

  • barfly

    Two chefs and a bar manager? WOW, I’ve heard on the street that many other employees have also quit. whats going on over there?

  • Space Ace

    I’m sure just the same story. Guy buys bar sinks some $$$into it, finds out he actually has to buy food and beer before he sells it so he screws the people who are working there ass off for him. Been there!