Plan revealed for new café in historic city centre building

The courtyard at King's Manor, York. Photograph: YorkMix
2 Mar 2020 @ 7.08 pm
| Food & drink

Two weeks after the café in King’s Manor closed, plans for a replacement have been revealed.

It will be considerably smaller than the previous version, planning documents confirm.

For many years a café was housed in the first-floor refectory, but this is going to be given over to another use by the University of York, which occupies the Grade I listed building.

A smaller seminar room on the ground floor will become the new café.

Planning documents state:

  • The current café located in the refectory does not attract large numbers of students and is vastly oversized for the needs of the campus.

    The proposed move of the café will reduce it’s size, make it more accessible and allow for the refectory to be used more efficiently by the university.

‘Grab and go’

King’s Manor

There were fears that the café would disappear completely, and the three staff would lose their jobs. But that is not the case.

“Through construction of the café service area the three staff members will be able to provide facilities for ‘grab and go’ customers as well as 33 seats for those that wish to stay,” the plans state.

“Overall, the relocation will provide a more efficient and accessible space for the occupants of King’s Manor and the public.”

The room it is moving to was once a bar.

The seminar room which will be converted into a café. Image: planning documents
How it looked when it was a bar

King’s Manor is a medieval adaptation and extension of the former 13th century Abbot’s House of St Mary’s Abbey.

In the 15th century it was extended backwards and planned around two courtyards to become the headquarters for the Council of the North.

Now it is occupied by the University of York, Department of Archaeology but owned by the City of York Council.