Grounds for optimism?

Soon to reopen its doors? Stone’s former branch of HSBC.


Stone’s former HSBC bank could be converted into an independently owned coffee house, kitchen and bar if the Borough Council approves plans to change its use. The building on Stone High Street has been closed since November 2016.

The applicant is the BEAR Coffee Company which aims to transform the building into an establishment selling speciality coffees, fresh food, wine, craft beers and cocktails. They already have coffee houses in Uttoxeter and Derby.

To quote their website:

“BEAR was conceived out of a passion, not just to offer great coffee, but also to create a great environment in which to enjoy it. Founded in 2014, it was the realisation of a vision that co-founder Craig Bunting had in Australia whilst enjoying such an experience and wondering why he was unable to do so back in the UK.

“BEAR now serves sustainably sourced speciality coffee, seasonal fresh food, cocktails and craft beer in beautifully thought out spaces.”

If approved, the venture would lead to the creation of three full-time and 10 part-time jobs.

The planning application reference 18/28457/COU can be viewed online at https:/

Sketch plan for the proposed interior layout.