A large York pub is to reopen after being closed for nearly two years.

The Windmill & Turnpike on the A1079 at Dunnington closed at the beginning of 2018 and has been up for sale. It is now to become The Twine & Barrel restaurant and bar, and is due to reopen in early December.

Mark Deeming, general manager of the new business, said: “The response from locals has been great; they can’t wait to see it open again.”


He said it would be a gastropub but with a public bar as well, and said that if it is a success then the directors might look to open further venues in the region as well.

Mr Deeming said he had worked in hospitality and pubs since he was 13. He recently worked at The Plough at Scalby, and has also worked for the Ask Italian chain around the country.

He said the pub had been in a better state than expected when they took it over, but it was undergoing a lot of refurbishment work inside ahead of the opening.

Long history

What was the Windmill Pub in Dunnington. Photograph © Google Street View
Dunnington had lost another of its pubs several years ago, when The Greyhound closed and was turned into a pharmacy, meaning it had recently been down to just one pub, The Cross Keys. The Twine & Barrel will take the village back to two.

Local archives show the pub dates back at least 147 years, with High Murray’s renowned Directory of York Pubs listing the first mention as being in 1872.

It was The Windmill for most of its history but after being sold by Enterprise Inns a few years ago, it became The Windmill & Turnpike. The company that owned it under that name was liquidated last year.

The new owner is Twine & Barrel Ltd, which was registered with Companies House last November, with its registered address as the pub.


Under the new owners, it will serve breakfast, lunch and evening meals, opening from 8am.

It will also have an extensive cocktail menu, featuring pornstar martinis, espresso martinis and negronis.

The company is recruiting staff now, advertising on its Facebook page vacancies for front of house and kitchen staff at all levels, as well as a bar and restaurant supervisor and cleaning staff.

Welcome news

Some of the breakfasts on offer at the Twine & Barrel. Photograph: Facebook
The reopening has been welcomed locally, at a time when pubs are closing rapidly nationally. Across the UK, 235 pubs closed in the first half of this year.

Nick Love, pub protection officer at the York branch of the Campaign for Real Ale, told YorkMix:

  • It’s very welcome news to see this pub opening again and York Camra wishes them every success. Pubs that serve villages such as Dunnington are more vital than ever in alleviating social isolation, in the part they play as a meeting place to socialise.

    Research by both Oxford University and York Professor Ignazio Cabras shows in rural districts they provide a key role in facilitating friendships and that those who have a local pub are happier, more trusting and better connected to their community.