First look: Inside York’s new reading café

Inside the new reading café, L-R: Giorgia Capanni, Susan Brook, Julia Watkinson and Holly Brook. Photograph: YorkMix
6 Jul 2020 @ 8.26 pm
| Changing city

A new reading café will open in York tomorrow (Tuesday).

Explore’s Hungate Reading Café will be open 10am to 5pm Tuesday to Friday and 10am to 4pm on a Saturday.

Acting as both a community hub for the emerging Hungate district, and a good stop-off spot for people going in and out of town from the east of York, the café offers food, drink, free wifi and – soon – lots of books to borrow.

It will serve sandwiches, wraps, pizza, homemade cakes and more. All the food is Fairtrade and locally-sourced wherever possible.

A large range of coffees is on offer, thanks to the York Emporium coffee roasters.

Due to current restrictions the café will begin by offering food and drink to take away or consume in the spacious outside seating area.

But as restrictions are lifted customers will be able to enjoy a light and airy café – with books available to borrow and return from September onwards. 

And there’s a meeting room available to book from September too.  

Locals involved

Inside Hungate Reading Café

It’s Explore York’s third reading café, after the success of ones in Rowntree Park and the Homestead.

Explore’s chief executive Fiona Williams said: “Local people have been involved from the beginning in its design and delivery and we can’t wait to open the doors to everyone. 

“Our concept of Reading Cafes brings together books with coffee and cakes and has been such a success across the city, and our staff are really looking forward to making this a success.”

The outside of the café

Executive member for culture, leisure and communities Darryl Smalley said: “I’m proud that in York we are opening new library facilities at a time when many authorities across the country are reducing their provision.

“The Explore team always go above and beyond to support our communities, and from their book delivery offer to the free online newspapers, they have helped support many residents through the last few months.

“The opening of the new Hungate Reading Café marks a great step forward in our city’s recovery from the coronavirus pandemic.”

Hungate Reading Cafe, Ground Floor, Bellerby Court, Hungate, York YO1 7AF
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