Police object to new York city centre bar

How the Secret Square bar would look. Photograph: Licensing documents

Police have hit out at plans for a new bar to open in York city centre.

YorkMix revealed in January that a new business – named Secret Square – wants to open a Kurdish food and drink venue in Hornby’s Passage off Stonegate, one of the lanes leading to the old Stonegate Walk shopping arcade.

The owners have now applied for an alcohol licence. They want to serve alcohol from 11.30am to 11pm Sunday to Thursday and until 1am on Fridays and Saturdays.


But North Yorkshire Police and City of York Council’s public protection team have called for the application to be rejected – over fears it could cause problems for residents and the prevention of crime and disorder.

Fifteen people have also spoken out against the application.

A decision on the licence is set to be made at a meeting on Thursday (6 February).

Crime and disorder

Hornby Passage. Photograph: Licensing documents
Police said they met with the applicant to discuss plans for a business when the owners wanted to apply for a licence for a bar only.

The report says: “It was advised at the time that an application of this type, being in the red zone of the cumulative impact zone, would not be supported by North Yorkshire Police due to the potential adverse impact on crime and disorder in the area.

“Some conditions for a food led establishment with reduced hours were then suggested, however, it was acknowledged by the agent that the premises does not have capacity for a substantial kitchen.”


Police say the site is in a residential area that is already “highly saturated” with licensed premises and should be refused.

The council’s public protection team have also objected to the application – saying there are already four other bars on Stonegate and that they have already received noise complaints from people living nearby about noise from bars and buskers.

Recorded music

Soon to reopen? A locked gate prevents access to Hornby’s Passage. Photographs: Richard McDougall
They say the applicant claims the business will serve food – but photographs show lots of bar stools and small raised tables.

They say: “Our major concern, however, relates to the recorded music and customers’ voices and whether these two noise sources can be controlled.”

And they recommended the licence is refused unless “stringent conditions” are imposed.

But the applicants say the venue will be a cafe and bar serving Kurdish cuisine and drinks.


They say a door supervisor will be employed on Fridays, Saturdays and race days from 11pm until 1am.

And that families with children will be “welcome in the restaurant until 7pm”.

Residents living nearby have also raised concerns about the plans – with one person saying “our quality of life would be seriously compromised”.