Bear’s Lair Tavern

Gastropub fare. Classic cocktails. Local beers.

Bear’s Lair Tavern is a fine casual bar and grill located at the edge of the UC Berkeley Campus. We proudly support UC Berkeley student organizations and programs by donating a portion of restaurant sales.


About Bear’s Lair Tavern

In the heart of Berkeley, Bear’s Lair Tavern is an innovative take on the traditional pub – mixing a modern aesthetic and authentic service to deliver fun and approachable gastropub cuisine. With a sumptuous menu crafted by Reign Free of The Red Door Group, in collaboration with pioneering San Francisco chef and longtime friend David Lawrence, Bear’s Lair Tavern acknowledges its storied local history though archived images of the campus and city, a beer garden with patio seating, televised collegiate and professional games, and regular live music and outdoor games.

Inspired by American traditions, we serve locally sourced fare, well-crafted brews, and a diverse catalog of spirited libations. Bear’s Lair Tavern welcomes all who seek friendly company, lively conversation and gracious hospitality.

About Reign Free and The Red Door Group

Since childhood, Bear’s Lair Tavern’s Managing Partner Reign Free has cultivated a devotion to cooking and hospitality. Raised in the Midwest, Reign earned a degree in Public Health from New Orleans’ Dillard University. Her experiences and travels inspired a passion for mastering traditional West Indian, Creole, Pan-Asian, and Pan-American specialties. In 2006, Reign founded Red Door Catering, a team of accomplished chefs and customer-focused event designers renowned for creating unforgettable events and stellar dining experiences for a wide range of clients throughout the Bay Area.

In the summer of 2018, Red Door Catering assumed food and beverage management of the Bear’s Lair — the legendary and beloved campus tavern serving generations of UC Berkeley students since 1962. Today’s reimagined Bear’s Lair Tavern specializes in fun and approachable gastropub cuisine, superior customer service, and community-centered comfort.

“At Bear’s Lair Tavern, my team and I have brought our passion, creativity and extensive culinary experience together to create something truly special,” said Reign. “We deliver fresh ingredients and artisanal elements to an inviting neighborhood tavern, one rich with familiar faces. It’s a beautiful space for a strong community of students, faculty, graduates and neighbors to relax and have a good time, to be nourished in every capacity.”

Red Door Catering is a member of the National Association for Catering and Events as well as the International Caterers Association. “Creating logistics, systems, and a great team are my passions and strengths, and Bear’s Lair Tavern is the perfect distillation of those gifts. I also have a dynamic connection to the community. Food is a potent connector for people: it holds the power to nourish, heal and unite a community, and a strong community is one in which deep, impactful change takes place.”

Website: Bear’s Lair Tavern

Tracy Collins Ortlieb is an award-winning journalist and copywriter. Ortlieb specializes in parenting and family, travel and hospitality, and legal topics for such outlets as Parents, SheKnows, and Avvo. She lives in Chicago with her husband and daughters.