Bear’s Den Pizza freshens up, prices increase

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The popular Conway bar, Bear’s Den Pizza, re-opened Nov. 12, following renovations by none other than television personality, food critic and restauranteur Gordan Ramsay, who is well known for his show “Hell’s Kitchen.”

Many people attended the grand opening to see the new changes. 

Ramsay’s renovation at the Bear’s Den Pizza was filmed for the show “Gordan Ramsay’s 24 Hours to Hell and Back.” Bear’s Den Pizza was closed Nov. 9-10 for the renovations. 

Bear’s Den Pizza has been a staple aspect of the college experience for many UCA students for many years. Before the renovation, it was known for its cheap prices — especially its $5 pizza.

“I enjoyed [the new look], it was just a different atmosphere,” senior Paige Holland said when talking about her experience at the Bear’s Den Pizza during the grand opening. “I like [that] they didn’t change too much about it.”

Some of the changes made during Ramsay’s renovation include new barstools, new chairs, new tables and more.

“I haven’t gotten a whole lot of feedback yet, but just seeing how many people are here and enjoying the food; I think people are liking it,” Bear’s Den Pizza General Manager Jonathan Phelps said during the grand opening. 

Phelps said one of the main differences between the den before and after the renovation is the menu. 

“The menu has completely changed. There is no more late night food vibe to it. This is higher quality food [with] higher quality ingredients [and] we’re making it in better ovens,” Phelps said.

Since the food is now higher quality, the prices are now more expensive — pizza at the Bear’s Den Pizza now costs $15. 

“If you can only imagine how much it costs to make a $5 pizza, it’s just not going to be a good pizza. We want pizza that not only our employees can be proud of, but that the people who come to eat can be proud of too,” Phelps said.

Phelps said the menu was changed to bring more business into Bear’s Den Pizza earlier in the day. 

“We want people to come here to want to eat dinner,” Phelps said. 

Even though the prices have increased, students are liking the quality of the food. 

“I didn’t eat there before, but I so far I really [the food],” Holland said.

Even though the menu has changed, many aspects of the Bear’s Den Pizza have remained the same. For instance, the prices on the late night menu, such as the alcohol, remained the same. 

The next season of “Gordon Ramsay’s 24 Hours to Hell and Back,” in which Bear’s Den Pizza’s remodeling will be featured, will premiere Jan. 7, 2019.

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