Market hall withdraws late-night drinking plans to ‘consult with the community’

‘We never envisaged a nightclub’ – Stonebow House. Photographs: Richard McDougall
1 Jun 2018 @ 7.31 pm
| Food & Drink

The company behind a new food hall coming to York have withdrawn their bid to sell alcohol till 1am in the face of opposition from police, the council and residents.

Try Market Halls are opening the hall in the revamped Stonebow House, and were due to face a licensing hearing on Thursday.

However, their plans met concerns from police who wanted earlier closing times, council staff who wanted it to operate as a restaurant rather than a bar, and neighbours worried about noise and anti-social behaviour.

Among those criticising the plans were elderly residents of Lady Hewley Cottages next door to Stonebow House.

Now the company has withdrawn its licensing application.

‘Change the way people think’

Try Market Halls CEO Andy Lewis-Pratt said they had “wrongly assumed” their plans would be better received, especially as existing licences would let venues at Stonebow House open until 4am. He said:

As a result, and in the act of good faith, we have withdrawn the application to allow us time to address the concerns by consulting fully with residents and key stakeholders in the area.

The success of Market Halls depends on the local community buy-in. It is not Market Hall’s intention to divide or cause concern but instead to work with and support the local community.

He said they chose Stonebow House for their next venture because of its vibrant location “where the city’s history meets its future”, and have looked carefully at how to best manage and run the site.


“Our aim is to change the way people think and feel about food while delivering a platform for up-and-coming local and regional chefs and restaurateurs to showcase their talents.”

Exhibition plan

The company now plans a public exhibition in July to give neighbours and residents chance to meet and discuss the plans.

Meanwhile, the Stonebow House developers say they have a “stringent noise and acoustic code” on the building to protect residents in new flats on the upper floors, and specifically chose Try Market Halls because of its family friendly atmosphere and willingness to play a part in the local community.

Richard France of Oakgate developers added: “We never envisaged, or would entertain, a nightclub at this location. Through the licensing application this has been misconstrued for obvious reasons.”