It caused such criticism that the developers pledged to go back to the drawing board.
Today the controversial plan to turn part of Stonebow House in York into a food and dining hall has returned – aiming to turn an “eyesore” into a “social city hub”.
And Try Market Halls say the scheme could create more 100 permanent jobs.
The company withdrew their original licensing application in June. It followed 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.
Try try again
Try Market Halls resubmitted a licensing application for the proposed site on the ground floor and basement of Stonebow House on Thursday (October 18).
“The concept provides affordable trading space for local up and coming new chefs and restaurateurs to showcase their talents and offer high-quality food in a well-managed family friendly space,” said the firm’s property director Mark Barnes.
“We plan Market Hall York to be a social city hub where both locals and visitors of all ages can eat, meet, experience amazing cuisine and plan their time to get the most out of their visit to York.”
And they had made changes to the proposals which drew so many objections:
The success of Market Halls depends on a good relationship with the local community and we withdrew our initial application to allow more time to consult with stakeholders and the relevant authorities.
All the feedback we received has been fed into our final plans which were well received by local residents at special tours of the Stonebow site earlier this month.
This will help to transform what had become something of an eyesore, with late-licence nightclubs operating up to 4am, being a source of nuisance to local residents.
Not a nightclub
The company appreciated “the sensitivity associated with this site because of its historical issues with late night disturbance”.
“So we have taken practical steps to guarantee expert professional management at all times to not only ensure visitor satisfaction but also that our neighbours and local stakeholders are happy with its operation,” said David Laycock of the firm.
As things stand, they believe it would make a “very positive contribution… to York’s independent local food reputation and economy.
“Our aim is to be a good neighbour and friend to the city at all times. This will definitely not be a ‘night club’ venue,” Mr Laycock added.
Under the new scheme, the Basement would become “an innovative flexible space that can be adapted for dining, co working, and to host activities to support city festivals”.
It could hold activities including conferences and educational food visits with local children.
Lots of jobs
Try Markets predict that nine up and coming chefs and restaurateurs will be able to develop their independent businesses here, with around 75 kitchen trader staff and porters.
There would also be more than 30 management, security and cleaning personnel.
“Flexible space in the basement will help many more independent new business; there is virtually no co working office space available in York centre yet there is a huge demand for this type of facility,” the company said.
Try Market Halls is expanding fast. Its first venue opened in Fulham in May, and the next outlet – also in London, at Victoria – is opening next month.
The York location at Stonebow House is considerend an ideal location between the independent streets of Fossgate, Hungate, Shambles and the city centre shops.
Initial interest in the opportunity has been expressed by a wide range of independent York and Yorkshire food operators.