CROESO Pubs Ltd, the South Wales pub chain which already runs seven venues including The Philharmonic and Brewhouse in Cardiff, is taking over the lease of The Bear’s Head in Penarth.

The pub in Windsor Road was formerly run by JD Wetherspoons, which announced its sudden closure in March when it decided not to renew the lease on the venue. 

Croeso Pubs has stepped in to take over the lease and will reopen The Bear’s Head’s doors in early July.

The Bear’s Head is the second ‘community pub’ for Croeso pubs - in December last year it refurbished The Discovery in Lakeside, Cardiff following a £400,000 investment.

In the past few months, it has also extended the Blue Bell in Cardiff’s city centre, and in January 2023, it also acquired the lease for The Dock in Cardiff Bay. 

Croeso Pubs say they are committed to retaining as many aspects of The Bear’s Head as possible, but will also invest significantly in the premises, including the introduction of live sport from Sky and TNT Sports.

Croeso Pubs Director Simon Little said: “We are really pleased to be able to add a venue in Penarth to our growing portfolio and hope to replicate the success we’ve had in our other venues to The Bear’s Head by delivering what the people of Penarth want in their local pub.”

Mr Little went on to reassure customers Croeso won't change the ‘winning formula’ at Bears Head.

Mr Little added: “We aren’t planning on changing what is already a winning formula at The Bear’s Head, the prices will mostly remain the same, along with enhancements like welcoming well-behaved dogs, and the option to book your favourite table.”

Fellow Croeso Pubs director Craig Davies said: “The Bear’s Head fits extremely well with our model of acquiring larger sites and we are hopeful that we can not only secure the jobs of the staff currently working there, but also create new ones as we extend our offering.”

Mr Davies did address the fact a petition was launched to try save the Bears Head, saying: “The fact that the community launched a petition when the closure of Bear’s Head was announced demonstrates that this is a place that matters to locals, and this only galvanises our resolve to invest in this “must visit” pub in Penarth.

“It is our intention to run the business along the same ‘value lines’ as the local community previously enjoyed.”

Croeso Pubs track record of breathing new life into venues as it takes over Bears Head

Croeso Pubs took over the lease for The Philharmonic and reopened it in 2017 following a £1million refurbishment, transforming it into one of Cardiff’s most popular nightspot.

Croeso Pubs also took over former Brains’ pub 33 Windsor Place in December 2022 and reopened it as the Daffodil, a food-led venue.

In 2021, Croeso Pubs refurbished the former Goat Major pub on High Street, opposite Cardiff Castle, and reinstated it to its original name Blue Bell.

And in March 2023, it also celebrated the 10th anniversary of the opening of the Brewhouse.

South Wales Argus: Croeso Pubs, opening in PenarthCroeso Pubs, opening in Penarth (Image: Croeso Pubs)

South Wales Argus: On its way out of Penarth; the Bears HeadOn its way out of Penarth; the Bears Head (Image: Newsquest)

South Wales Argus: The Daffodil in CardiffThe Daffodil in Cardiff (Image: Google Maps)

Who are Croeso Pubs?

Starting in 2010, Croeso Pubs describe themselves as a ‘proudly independent hospitality group, whose ultimate goal had always been to create a safe, joyful and comfortable environment for our guests and staff’.

Croeso Pubs serve breakfast, bottomless brunch, lunch, afternoon tea and dinner to hand-crafted cocktails, locally brewed cask ales and premium spirits.

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What pubs does Croeso already own?

Retro, Cardiff

The very first venture! Retro is described as Cardiff’s original home of the party vibe, spread across three bustling floors, with live DJs every night spinning those classic throwback tunes til’ 4am!

South Wales Argus: First pub, RetroFirst pub, Retro (Image: Google Maps)

The Dock, Mermaid Quay, Cardiff

Situated at the heart of Mermaid Quay the company say the pub is ideally placed to enjoy the events taking place in the bay all year round and the perfect place to celebrate a special occasion or simply post-work drinks and a bite to eat with friends.

The pub includes contemporary and eclectic interiors and floor-to-ceiling windows. It serves brunch, lunch, and dinner.

Daffodil, Cardiff

Described as championing local Welsh suppliers, sourcing all our produce from small artisan suppliers who provide only the freshest and highest quality ingredients.

There’s also a comprehensive wine list, consisting of 24 wines by the glass.

Blue Bell, Cardiff

Blue Bell has been serving the people of Cardiff for over 200 years say Croeso.

As one of Cardiff’s oldest pubs, they continue to offer a traditional cosy atmosphere with quality food and drink at affordable prices.

You can get food there too with the menu offering fresh, locally sourced ingredients to the table; served as traditional, hearty pub grub.

The Philharmonic, Cardiff

Five unique bars set over three floors and the home of ‘Three Sixty’ – a basement level late night bar with a 360° service bar and renowned resident DJs.

As well as Philly bar – our ground floor lounge bar and dining area, plus two lounge bars and a rooftop sun terrace.

South Wales Argus: Philharmonic on Cardiff's St Mary StreetPhilharmonic on Cardiff's St Mary Street (Image: Google Maps)

Brewhouse, Cardiff

Coined as Cardiff’s No.1 Live Music Venue! There’s three bars, an outside sun terrace, as well as live music and sport ever night.

Happy? Surprised? Relieved the unit isn't going to sit empty? Let us know your thoughts in comments, on our Facebook page, or email

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