Stonebow Food Hall plan is back – aiming to create a new ‘social city hub’ and 100 jobs

How the food hall end of Stonebow House could look

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

The food hall is planned for this end of the ground floor of the revamped Stonebow House. Photograph: Richard McDougall
Try Market Halls resubmitted a licensing application for the proposed site on the ground floor and basement of Stonebow House on Thursday (October 18).

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‘Intolerable!’ Anger from 90-year-old residents at food hall’s late-night drinking plan

“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

The Victoria food hall in London will open soon
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.

5 thoughts on “Stonebow Food Hall plan is back – aiming to create a new ‘social city hub’ and 100 jobs

  1. This is an excuse to call it a foodhall when the alcohol license is requested from 10.30am to 1.30am next morning. The basement is for music and dancing, so how is this different from a nightclub? The area of Fossgate is saturated with pubs and wine venues, no more are needed. Market Hall tries to say it is family and child friendly. Alcohol and children should never be combined under one roof. It offers take away food, so cannot be regarded as a high standard restaurant. This is a recipe for more unsocial behaviour in York.

    1. The comment above from “Juste annie ” sums up the reality of the situation. York does not need more alcohol retail venues, it has quite enough and probably far too many!, To suggest that this Stonebow project is anything other that a further expansion of York’s booze based economy is wrong. A number of elderly people , some well over 80, live in this area and they deserve better!
      The elderly population of York is increasing, and they deserve a much more peaceful place to live out their lives. It is about time that City Councillors and Officers developed some compassion!

  2. Amazing for York and Yorkshire to get this type of place outside of London. Great news and looking forward to visiting

  3. This is a great move to warlords York having a pop up restaurant opportunity to showcase what great talent we have in this city. We need to shout loud around the UK what our city has to offer.

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