Have you tried a Bridport Dagger yet? Well, what are you waiting for? They’re all the rage. 

It’s been a whirlwind few months for the duo behind Dark Bear, the pop-up bar causing a stir across the county and beyond.

In March this year, two local mixologists - Lloyd Brown and David Smith - joined forces to create the bar at East Street’s Aroma café. 

The bars are cocktail-focused but with a range of Dorset and Glaswegian beers, wine, cider, gin and whisky. 
On the menu is the the option to choose any classic or one of the 15 seasonal cocktail available at any time.

Since then, the pair have been very busy indeed, and seven months later they are runners up in the prestigious Observer Food Magazine Awards in the ‘Best Place to Drink’ category representing the West Country.

The award is voted for by the general public and shows just how popular the Dark Bear has become in such a short time.

Each month they hold tasting evenings accompanied by fun but informative talks, they specialise in local flavours and ingredients along with house-made infusions and, most importantly, Lloyd and David pride themselves on creating an atmosphere which is lively, friendly and ‘downright delicious.’

Lloyd, 29, and David, 34, are no strangers to the bar scene; Lloyd, born in Dorset, moved to Reading to get experience in the spirit industry before moving back and opening Bridport’s Venner Bar.

The bar was crowned ‘Best Bar in the South’ four years running. He then went on to form the Grey Bear bar company, which deals with event and consulting.

David ran the bar at Hix Oyster and Fish House for nearly five years before managing the bar at award-winning The Anchor Inn, Seatown.

The pair joined forces to become Dark Bear, running a successful bar in the evenings at Aroma Café in Bridport and enjoying a stint in Lyme Regis this summer. 

They’ve taken their concept out on the road, appearing at the Melplash Show amongst other events. 

Lloyd said: “We had always wanted to open a bar together and had been chatting with John and Dewi at Aroma for a while about the idea, finally we decided to jump into it. 

“We focus on local ingredients with inventive twists on the classics and a host of original cocktails.”
David added: “We both like working with local ingredients as much as possible but want to inject something a bit different into our bars.”

Dark Bear is open Wednesday to Saturday from 6pm.
For more information, visit darkbear.co.uk