Café in historic city centre building to close – but ‘it will reopen in a new location’

King's Manor Refectory in central York. Photograph: Kings Manor Refectory / Facebook
29 Jan 2020 @ 6.33 pm
| Food & Drink

It has refreshed students, academics and the public alike.

But the King’s Manor Refectory is to close on 14 February.

The good news is, they are planning to reopen open the café in a new location on the site.

The refectory is part of the King’s Manor off Exhibition Square, now part of the University of York. A group of largely Grade I medieval buildings it was the Abbot’s House of St Mary’s Abbey, with parts of it dating back to the 15th century.


When the abbey was dissolved in 1539, Henry VIII instructed that it be the seat of the Council of the North – which many people quoted when it was suggested earlier this month that the House of Lords be moved to York.

Since then it has been homes and the Yorkshire School for the Blind in the 1800s.

‘Very sad’

Historic – King’s Manor. Photograph: Richard McDougall
Former York councillor Keith Myers was concerned to see a notice on the King’s Manor railings about the closure of the refectory.

Mr Myers, who runs the York Walls Twitter account told YorkMix:

  • I spoke to one of the catering staff who said all of them were being deployed elsewhere on the main campus and the cafe is closing.

    She confirmed that there’s no intention of it being replaced. Very sad as this building is so important to York.


But a University of York spokesperson said: “We are closing the cafe on the 14th of February and re-locating it to a new site within King’s Manor.

“The new café, which will be open to the public, should be open by the end of the summer.”

One thought on “Café in historic city centre building to close – but ‘it will reopen in a new location’

  1. Shameful. This leaves almost no inside areas of King’s Manor open to the public and the replacement cafe is a fraction of the size of the current one, certainly not suitable for the community and friendship groups who currently use the Refectory. Sitting between the Art Gallery, Yorkshire Museum and York Explore, and adjacent to York’s developing, design-focused The Fifth Quarter’, King’s Manor should be at the heart of delivering York’s Cultural and Creative Strategies for the benefit of residents, visitors and small businesses not supporting a handful of academics who could be easily accommodated in Heslington with the rest of the University. Another once in a generation opportunity missed.

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