Landmark restaurant, closed for more than a year, set to reopen under new owners

A new era for Russells. Photographs: Richard McDougall

A landmark York restaurant that has lain empty for more than year could be set to reopen as a new business.

Russell’s in Coppergate closed in July 2019 after 32 years.

But now it could become a new restaurant, named Mielikki Coppergate, according to a licensing application sent to City of York Council.

It’s to be an Italian restaurant/bar with capacity of 100.

They may seek later hours post-Covid.

The owners want an alcohol licence for the venue, with opening times expected to be from midday to midnight, seven days a week.

The property, at 24 to 26 Coppergate, is owned by the council and under offer for rent of £85,000 per year, £5,200 service charge, and business rates of £77,000.

A different place

Carvery restaurant Russell’s of Coppergate opened in 1986 – serving residents and tourists for 32 years.

But it closed last year, with a spokesperson pointing to “increasing costs and overheads including property costs” as reasons for the restaurant’s demise.

A spokesman for Kingsbridge Corporate Solutions, an insolvency advice firm, said last year: “York is a very different place from what it was in 1986. Since then the casual dining sector has changed significantly and has experienced several pressures.

“Sincere thanks are offered to all customers past and present, from near and far, for all their support over many years.”

At the time, the owners added: “York is a very different place from what it was in 1986. Since then the casual dining sector has changed significantly and has experienced several pressures.

“Increasing costs and overheads including property costs have contributed to the business’s demise, like many others before it.”

We haves contacted the new owners of the restaurant for a comment.