Fire-hit restaurant will reopen its bar on Friday – but the kitchen stays closed till February

Firefighters on the kitchen roof after the November 9 blaze. Photograph: YorkMix

One of York’s best-known restaurants will not fully reopen till February.

The scale of the destruction caused by a fire at The Star In The City on November 9 has now emerged.

It demolished the roof-space above the kitchen in the old waterworks, including the wooden joists and the roof itself.


And the owners have now been told the kitchen is condemned due to fire and water damage.

“Given the severity of the work required to get us up and running again we will not be able to get back in the kitchen until early 2019 which is absolutely devastating for us,” said Matthew Hunter, director of operations at the Star.

“Rest assured we have looked into temporary kitchens plus many other eventualities and it’s just not possible.”

He told YorkMix that February looks the most likely reopening for the food side of the business.

The good news

The tipi at the Star. Photograph: CAPTION
Fortunately no one was hurt in the fire. And the 25 firefighters who tackled the blaze saved the building.

That means the Star can reopen its bar this week. It will be back in action, serving drinks and nibbles, from Friday (November 23) at noon.

Matt wrote on Facebook:

  • We’ll be offering table service in some areas, hot and cold drinks, mulled wine and cider, beers and lots more from our comprehensive drinks list.

    This week we’ll have our Christmas decorations up, music and a fabulous PapaKåta! Tipi that’s a collaboration between us and Yorkshire Tea / Taylors of Harrogate.

So head along to support a great city business – you’ll get a great welcome.

Terrible timing

Flashback to when firefighters were on the scene
The timing of the blaze at the Museum Street restaurant couldn’t have been worse, just before the profitable Christmas season got underway.

“This time last week we began the arduous task of calling all the large bookings up until Christmas. All our guests have been so lovely and understanding, if we haven’t called you yet then please bear with us,” Matt said.

“Many of our guests have transferred bookings to Mr P’s Curious Tavern just round the corner which is part of our wider family of restaurants.”

The cause of the blaze is not yet known, although an electrical fault is one likely cause being investigated.

Firefighters said on the day that, on their preliminary inquiries, the cause was not thought to be suspicious.