Bondholder and Midlands-based independent coffee house and bar operator, BEAR, has announced plans to open its first London site in partnership with high-street fashion brand Jack Wills.
The collaboration is set to launch in Spring 2019 within Jack Wills’ flagship store, located just off Carnaby Street, Soho.
The collaboration first came to fruition following a visit that Jack Wills’ Global Property Director, Neil Beaman, paid to BEAR’s Derby site in early 2018. Neil was immediately impressed with the product and customer service, and after hearing more about the story behind BEAR from founders Craig & Michael, was excited by the prospect of working together.
BEAR - which brands itself as being ‘not another coffee shop’ and ‘a refreshing alternative to the traditional coffee house or bar’ - has ambitions to double in size year-on-year, opening up to 30 sites in major cities and market towns over the next five years. BEAR currently operates three sites in the Midlands and the partnership with Jack Wills will see a significant investment into the new Soho location which spans over 130sqm creating up to 10 new jobs for Londoners.
As well as serving sustainably-sourced, speciality coffee from 7.30am each day, BEAR will also be offering a range of wine, craft beer and signature cocktails which will be available from 5pm. Alongside the Flat Whites, Espresso Martinis and freshly baked goods, customers will be able to enjoy live music events and free-to-attend workshops on topics including coffee brewing, art and exclusive product launches in collaboration with Jack Wills.
Craig Bunting, co-founder of BEAR said: “We are really excited to be launching our first London store in partnership with Jack Wills. Our vision is to reinvent the modern retail experience, offering the highest quality coffee during the day with an alternative bar experience in the evenings, all served by skilled, passionate staff.
"Until recently, coffee shops, pubs and bars have been very separate spaces. BEAR is part of a growing movement that breaks the mould and offers a space to relax, meet friends and have meetings in a way which works best for our customers, whether that be over a coffee and a croissant or a cocktail ...or two!”