‘Bear’ hunts fresh opportunity following departure from North Yorkshire gastropub

Co-founder, entrepreneur and head chef of the popular Knaresborough restaurant and bar, ‘The Bear at Carriages’, Sam Pullan, has left the business after two years.

Sam acquired the business, formerly Carriages, out of administration in 2020 with business partner John Dixon. Following £100k of investment and extensive renovations, The Bear at Carriages opened in summer 2020 against the backdrop of multiple lockdowns, breathing new life into the venue in the market town.

The Knaresborough gastropub which boasts a roaring, purpose built solid fuel fire ‘bear pit’, housed outside in the premises’ extensive beer garden, quickly established itself as a destination venue, delivering a completely different style of hospitality designed to compete with the restaurant and bar scenes of nearby Harrogate, York and Leeds.

Earlier this year, Sam was shortlisted as Harrogate Hospitality Chef of the Year. Organised by the Harrogate Hospitality and Tourism Association, the prestigious awards are one of the region’s longest running and were the first to be held after lockdown. Sam also recently showcased his chef skills at North Yorkshire Food Festival in Pickering and will be guest presenting live chef demonstrations at Harrogate Food & Drink Festival which returns to Ripley Castle on September 3-4.

Having left The Bear at Carriages, Sam intends to work with and support some of the region’s leading, award-winning chefs at a time when the hospitality industry looks to continue to bounce back from the most challenging periods it has ever faced.

Alongside his talented team at The Bear at Carriages, Sam developed an ever changing seasonal menu, fire inspired dishes, exciting small plates and innovative twists on classic meals. He also encouraged team members to experiment with different ingredients and ideas for small plates and desserts to ensure the menu remained fresh and inspired.

The name Carriages originally came from the location in a listed building above a Victorian train tunnel on the Harrogate to York train line. Sam wanted to retain the character of the building and preserve its local heritage whilst still introducing his own contemporary twist.

John Dixon remains as managing and operations director.

Sam Pullan:

After two years of success in Knaresborough, it’s time for me to seek out new and exciting opportunities elsewhere in the region whether that’s working with some of the finest chef’s that Yorkshire has to offer or staging my own public chef demos at food festivals to inspire others. Being creative is the foundation of what drives me to be a better restaurateur and chef and having created something really special with the Bear at Carriages, I now want to move in a totally new direction and start afresh with something equally unique and different that further enhances Yorkshire’s hospitality reputation and provides a new challenge for me personally. The hunt for what the future holds is already on so watch this space!

I wish John and the remaining team all the best for the future.

Harrogate Informer