"The Vibe and Atmosphere Stays Constant Throughout"

BEARS, STAR LANE, IPSWICH

TIMING: WEEKNIGHT EVENING

Bears used to be a bowling and pool facility, but recently reopened as a Pool and Snooker Club. They’re known for drawing lots of groups in to watch the football, play some darts and have a few beers from their fully equipped bar! But with the club reopening without the bowling, I wanted to test out if their facilities were even worth reopening or not…..

BEARS1.png

LOCATION

Bears is located on the one-way system in town. It’s easily accessible and they have a fair amount of parking on site. I’ve been here a few times now and never struggled for parking. The exterior looks the same as it did before it shut down. Shining lights and a little run-down but overall, ok. We visited on a Saturday night so expected it to be busy. 4/5

First Impressions

As you enter the club, you are instantly greeted by a room full of pool tables on your left. Straight ahead is a few more and then to your right is the bar and a row of dart boards. The interior inside is pretty basic, but for that sort of club they can get away with it as most people are coming in to use the tables, not to enjoy the interior! They have a selection of TV’s to watch from too. 4/5

PRICE & VALUE FOR MONEY

Myself and my partner went and got some drinks from the bar and it is fully equipped with everything (by the looks of it). There is a music machine on the wall that you can pay to pick a song so the vibe in there was nice. You can either pay per game on the centre pool tables or pay for the hour in the room. We opted for the hour as it was only £5 and we could definitely fit more than 5 games in! I think it is a very reasonable price for what you get.

Upstairs, they have toilets and snooker tables. It’s quite a basic space but people all seem to be enjoying themselves!

When you pay for your hour the light above your specific table switches on. When your hour is up it automatically turns off so it’s relaxing not to have to clock watch! They provide you with the cues and chalk but some professional players opt to bring their own. However if you are playing darts then you do need to bring your own darts. There are chairs and small tables surrounding the pool tables so it gives you the option to sit and drink whilst occupying your allotted space.

Bears serve a small range of food too, however we didn’t get the chance to try any. It was a basic menu of chips, burgers, chicken nuggets that sort of grub. The food did look nice as we saw some brought out but can’t vouch for the taste! 4/5

INTERIOR

The whole vibe of the club is nice. You have your specific section and you don’t really have to interact with others. The tables are plentiful and fairly close together so there are times where you have to politely wait for someone to move so that you can take your turn! There are occasionally people hovering for a free table which can be unwelcoming but there is plenty of bar area for them to wait in. Could do with a touch of paint or some vibrancy but is pretty basic. 2.5/5

Overall, the club is a nice place to be. It is a little run down and could have done with some touch-ups or renovations downstairs before reopening but I don’t think people care if they’re just using the facility for a pool table or dart board. The staff were friendly and it is cheap for what it is! I’ve been a few times now on several different nights in the week and the vibe and atmosphere stays constant throughout. They hold competitions in there for prize money and it’s a great place to go if you’re stuck in bored on a Friday night! You can definitely squeeze in a lot of games in an hour for only £5!
— Overall Score 3.6/5