One of York’s best-loved coffee shops is opening a second branch in the city centre

Coming soon to Lendal… Photograph: Spring Espresso
21 Aug 2016 @ 5.21 pm
| Business, Food & Drink

Since opening on Fossgate five years ago Spring Espresso has established a reputation for serving some of the best coffee in York.

Now it is about to bring its superlative brews to the heart of the city with a second branch opening on Lendal.

Work is now underway to transform number 21 – whose previous incarnations have included Imaginative Icing and the Love Rouge tearooms – into Spring Espresso II.

New flooring is being laid, the counter is being moved from the front and the original awning – dating from the start of the last century – is being restored.

“That’ll give back the look of the street it had at the turn of the century,” says owner Steve Dyson.

He hopes the new coffee shop will do for Lendal what the original branch helped to do for Fossgate.

“It was basically a street of empty shops with only a couple of key additions – Bowler Vintage and Hairy Fig – in our sort of ilk.

“And now it’s the place to be for a cafe. There’s festivals, there’s cafes, there’s restaurants, there’s bars. They’re now converting the old Macdonalds Furniture Store into a massive bar-cum-restaurant.

“Along with the likes of Hairy Fig and Bowler, we like to think we had a hand in that.”

Steve pointed out that Lendal has a few empty shops of its own, including Robson & Cooper and what was Thomas The Bakers.

As well as Spring Espresso moving in, Steve says a pork butcher from Thirsk looks set to move in next door.

“There’s a lot of empty properties there on Lendal. We hope our addition – and the pork butcher maybe coming next to us – could make it like Fossgate again: it’ll extend and revive.”

£15K machine

The new location for Spring Espresso on Lendal
The new location for Spring Espresso on Lendal

Spring Espresso is the only place you can get Square Mile coffee in York, an exclusive brand created by the UK’s first world barista champion and world coffee guru James Hoffman.

And to brew it in Lendal Steve is importing an impressive machine all the way from Seattle – the Synesso Hydra MVP.

This bit of kit takes six weeks to build and costs £15K. Offering filtration and water softening, “it’s a further development of the machine we’ve got at Fossgate. This has got pressure profiling added on for the real coffee geeks.”

Steve is a sensory judge for the UK Barista Championships – “the coffee olympics if you like” – and so knows a thing or two about making a great cuppa.

He says:

Coffee’s not about one thing, it’s about all the little tiny details that add up to a really good cup of coffee.

The Fossgate branch created 22 jobs, four of which are full time. The Lendal branch will create an additional 20 jobs, with between six and eight full time.

“We have good staff. We’ve had a number of staff coming to us from Bettys recently which is a real compliment to us.

“Their experience from that wonderful establishment will give us something.”

It’s about the same size as the Fossgate premises but the location of the new shop has some advantages, including being on the run to the station for many commuters.

And with Judges Lodgings and Rustington Lendal is “a real gastronomic quarter of York – it’ll be nice to add a coffee stop”.

Are more Spring Espressos in the pipeline?

“I don’t know if it would be in York, because there are a lot of coffee shops in York – you can have too much of a good thing.

“We might look somewhere else – but it depends how much this takes out of me!”