Couple buy bar where they enjoyed their first date saving it from developers

A couple who had their first date at a popular music venue have saved it from developers who wanted to turn it into flats.

Grant and Louise Pullen have bought and renovated Granvilles in Stone, Staffordshire, a popular local music venue, restaurant and bar.

The venue is legendary in the local area and has welcomed performers like Cliff Richard, Lulu, Mary Berry and the Hairy Bikers.

Previous owners Adam and Mandy Jones recently passed over the keys after running the joint for almost 40 years, StokeonTrent Live reports.

During their first date in 2016, Grant and Louise joked about how they would like to buy the venue.

The couple tied the knot and their “flippant comment” became a reality this July.

Grant, aged 43, said: “We met at the gym and for our first date we went for a meal and then came here.

“We were dancing and having a laugh and said what a great place it was and how we would like to own it.

“It was just a flippant comment at the time. We went on to get married and we were looking for a house in Stone, and this place popped up on a search.

“We enquired about it and ended up going for it.”

Grant said competition buyers wanted to level the site and turn it into flats, or renovate it as an Indian restaurant.

So the couple were pleased they could save the place their relationship began and keep it as a bar and music venue.

Having worked as a chef for 20 years, Grant has plenty of experience in the hospitality trade.

Louise runs a successful children’s nursery business with branches in Newcastle and Weston Coyney.

All of the food on their new menu – which includes steak and ale piece and honey-glazed pork belly – is locally sourced and freshly prepared on site.

Grant says a big focus of the new Granvilles is to keep food “as local as we can”.

He added: “We wanted to offer good quality, home-made pub food, afternoon tea and a nice cocktail menu.

“We are also going to introduce a brunch menu.

“We’ve tried to keep everything as local as we can.

“It’s about supporting local business and making sure we all look after each other.

“Both myself and my wife are big live music fans so we really wanted to continue with the live entertainment too.

“I think Adam and Mandy really put Stone on the map with Granvilles and did a tremendous job.

“People coming in have said how good it is to see it open again.”

The venue is now open all day and into the evening for coffee, food and cocktails.