Flipping marvellous! York’s first Dutch pancake house will open this summer

Yum, and double yum – pannenkoek, or Dutch pancakes. Photograph © Martijn van Exel on Flickr

Do you remember our story about the plan for York to have its first pancake house?

After our report over a year ago nothing much happened, so we thought the whole idea had fallen through.

The good news is, after one or two problems, the plans are back on track. And the Double Dutch Pancake House – the first of its kind in York – will open early in July.

Serving up delicious sweet and savoury dishes cooked to authentic Dutch recipes, as well as one or two other specialities from the Netherlands, the pancake house will add a new flavour to York’s international eating out offering.

Dream coming true

The Dutch open pancake known as an uitsmijter. Photograph © Alkan Boudewijn de Beaumont Chaglar on Flickr
The Dutch dish known as an uitsmijter. Photograph © Alkan Boudewijn de Beaumont Chaglar on Flickr

Husband and wife Sheridan and David Walker are the driving force behind the restaurant. David’s aunt is half-Dutch, which is why he is such an expert.

They were all set to start work converting premises on Jubbergate into the pancake house when their bank bailed on them at the last minute.

So convinced are they that the business will be a hit, that they sold their house in Hartlepool to fund their pancake house dream. And they are now converting different city centre premises into a 40-cover, two-floor restaurant.

They were keeping the location quiet but we can now reveal that it is 7 Church Street, the former home of café The Hungry Artist, which closed some weeks ago.

The premises on Church Street which will become the pancake house. Photograph: YorkMix
The premises on Church Street which will become the pancake house. Photograph: YorkMix

A special atmosphere

Bitterballen, anyone? Photograph © Min Zhou on Flickr
Bitterballen, anyone? Photograph © Min Zhou on Flickr

Thirty years ago Sheridan, 54, and David, 52, worked together in a Dutch pancake house in Manchester. They loved it.

“The atmosphere is special,” Sheridan said. “It’s an open kitchen, so you’ve got the theatre of the pancakes being tossed in front of you.

“Everything’s made fresh to order. It appeals to families, to students.

“The Dutch pancake itself is different to a crepe and to your normal pancake, it’s a little bit bigger.”

So when their children grew up and left home they set about creating their own version. They looked at places in Edinburgh and Manchester “but we kept being drawn back to York”.

They fell in love with our city when their daughter came to study at York St John University.

Having gained planning permission for the Jubbergate project “at the last minute the bank let us down. We had a rethink and we sold the family home. We are serious.”

What’s on the menu

Strawberries for a summer opening. Photograph © David van der Mark on Flickr
Strawberries for a summer opening. Photograph © David van der Mark on Flickr

The Double Dutch Pancake House will serve up sweet and savoury pancakes.

Sheridan said:

They’re not folded, they’re not rolled. Everything’s cooked in it, and cheese is melted on the top of the savoury ones.

We can also do one with a coconut base. We make curry fillings to go with it. It’s like a curry with the pancake as the peshwari nan.

Sweet pancakes will come with a large variety of fillings, such as bananas, Nutella and stroop – the Dutch syrup used in the traditional bacon and syrup pancake.

You can create your own topping combinations, or even hold your pancake themed birthday party at the restaurant.

Prices will start at £5.25, with a children’s pancake at £4.95.

There will be vegetarian and gluten-free options. And other dishes will be on the menu, such as bitterballen – crispy meatballs served with a mustardy mayonnaise – and the Dutch open sandwiches called uitsmijters.

Opening between 8am and 8pm, the restaurant will begin with breakfast pancakes and dish them up throughout the day. And they have applied for permission to sell bottled beer and wine too.

“We’re passionate about it,” Sheridan said.

“We’ve done our market research. We’ve spent a good couple of years here asking questions, talking with people. Local businesses have been really helpful as well.

“We’ve spoken to quite a lot of people about it, and they’re all excited and positive.”