The former Post Office on Lendal looks set to become a branch of a national steakhouse chain.
The building – which had operated as a Post Office for 135 years – closed in April when services were moved into WHSmith in Coney Street.
Restaurant chain Miller & Carter have applied to City of York Council for a license to serve alcohol at the site – with opening hours from 8am to 12.30am, seven days a week.
A Miller & Carter spokesman could not confirm when the branch will open or on how many floors it would operate. But he did say:
We have submitted an application to open a new Miller & Carter restaurant at the former post office in Lendal.
This would be a fantastic opportunity for Miller & Carter and we hope to provide York with the best steak experience, which we are renowned for across the UK.
One million steaks
Miller & Carter is part of the large hospitality chain Mitchells & Butlers, which runs 1,700 restaurants in the UK with brands including Harvester, Toby Carvery and All Bar One.
Until now the nearest Miller & Carter was in Leeds. The chain sells one million steaks a year, and all its beef is sourced from UK farms and aged for 30 days.
As well as steaks, they serve lamb, chicken and ribs dishes, a range of fish, and the odd veggie dish.
They also serve a range of cocktails, beer, wine and soft drinks.
David Skaith, who runs clothing shop Winston’s of York, said he was “gutted” when the Post Office shut and worried for its staff – but is pleased to see empty buildings brought back into use.
He said: “I don’t mind so much, but only if it adds and offers something different. Not just another generic pizza place or bar but bring a different spin on things.
“What I’d like to see is firstly the council, where possible, buy more units. If they do it means any revenue made from rent will be going back into the city.”
But not everyone’s a fan. Guildhall Labour group tried to get the building listed as an asset of community value – but the application was rejected.
Cllr Fiona Fitzpatrick said:
It’s incredibly disappointing to see the former Post Office building now be subject to a licensing application to turn it into what appears to be another bar for the city centre.
It sits within the cumulative impact zone, where new licensed premises should be restricted and an application for Revolucion de Cuba [to open in part of the old BHS building on New Street] was turned down for this very reason.
We have a high concentration of drinking establishments in the [city centre] cumulative impact zone. Unless this venue focuses on food rather than alcohol, the police will object to its licence.
She added: “It’s a unique building and we wondered if it could be used for community benefits, being right next to the Guildhall. Unfortunately this wasn’t possible within the existing rules.”
The building was owned by the Post Office and last month the company confirmed a buyer had come forward for the property.