About us

Making New History

The Bull and Bear Whiskey Bar and Taphouse is a combination of 19th century whiskey bar and contemporary gastropub serving favorite drinks, unique cocktails, and great food made from local meat and fresh produce delivered daily.

At the Bull and Bear, locals and visitors gather on a weekly basis to cheer on their favorite sports team, to listen to live music, and to participate in friendly competition through activities such as bingo and karaoke. The decor evokes an earlier age, when Monterey was a rough-and-tumble port town where Spanish fighting bulls were pitted against California grizzly bears in battles to the death in an arena located in what is now the parking lot behind the Bull and Bear.

Our history

Historic Downtown Monterey

1850 Califonira Becomes a State

When Monterey city officials welcomed California Governor Vicente de Sola in 1815, They entertained him with shows of horsemanship and a bear-and-bull fight.

1897 Bull & Bear Fights

Frenchman Jean-Nicolas Perlot, who described bear trapping in his 1897 book Vie et Aventures d’un Enfant de l’Ardenne, writes that bears were left for days in the traps without food or water, then given a salted ham and several liters of water mixed with brandy. After they passed out, they were put in a mobile cage and wheeled to town.

Our Name

Monterey Bull & Bear Fights

1903 Legend of Augustin Escobar

The legend of bear hunter Augustin Escobar, who, according to a 1903 edition of the Overland Monthly, killed a bear in the Del Monte Forest with a knife. He later agreed to fight one in the arena.

“With only a knife, he rolled… a heavy cloak around his left arm and shoulder as a shield from the terrible claws,” journalist Richard Sandwick writes. “The crowd got the worth of their money; for not only was the bear killed, but Escobar carried to the end of his days, two ugly claw marks down face and chest that made him interesting, if not hideous.”