Homage2Fromage York

The perfect introduction to the wonders of CHEESE with Homage2Fromag

Homage2Fromage is bringing its wild, crazy, cheese-tastic events to the people of York!

We already run popular cheese events in Leeds, Sheffield and Manchester and are now expanding to take over the wonderful Lendal Cellars.

Homage2Fromage is famous for its fun, informal and informative cheese events that celebrate the simple joy of cheese.

This first event will feature EIGHT of our all-time favourite cheeses with good local breads, chutneys, crackers, fruits, fun and fromage-filled informality.

It’s an all-you-can-eat cheese party!

Lendal Cellars has plenty of top tipples, so you can drink what you love, as you eat as much cheese as you want!

Come and enjoy these stunning cheeses with us!

Inside York’s newest restaurant – complete with graffiti, motorbikes and neon lights

This is Zaap Thai – the colourful new addition to York’s international dining scene.

Soon to open at at 7 Lendal, foodies can expect Thai-inspired graffiti, funky tuk tuks, neon lighting, hanging motorbikes and “an electric atmosphere that pays homage to the iconic capital city”, its owners say.

The new restaurant – in the former home of Gourmet Burger Kitchen – will be the fourth branch to open, after Leeds, Nottingham and Newcastle.

No definite opening date has been set. The space is now being transformed into something inspired by the bustling markets of Bangkok.

Owner and chef Ban Kaewkraikhot moved to the UK from Thailand 20 years ago, and has been sharing her country’s unique flavours with appreciative Brits ever since.

Food and drink

Expect something a bit different
Thai street food classics on offer include the fragrant Gang Ped Thai Red Curry and the meaty Hoy Tod Crispy Pan-Fried Mussel Pancakes.

With more than 80 dishes to choose from you can take a gamble on something more exotic, such as the Pla Tod Gratium Deep Fried Whole Sea Bass or the vegetarian Som Tum Thai Spicy Papaya Salad with peanuts.

The midweek lunch menu offers two courses for £10, or three for £12.95 and runs between Monday and Friday from 11am – 6pm.

On Curry Monday and Pad Thai Tuesday you can grab the title dish and a beer for £10 all day.

Those beers range from Singha to Tsingtao.

Authentic bubble teas are also on the drinks menu, alongside a collection of Asian cocktail creations.

Zaap have also launched a menu of non-alcoholic summer drinks, including smoothies.

It will offer ‘an electric atmosphere’ say the owners
Zaap on Lendal is in the former home of the Gourmet Burger Kitchen

Thirty jobs

The interior has been inspired by a Bangkok street market
The new opening will create around 30 new jobs in York, ranging from management to waiting staff. Zaap Thai is part of the Sukho Group, who currently have 7 different restaurants in their portfolio.

Owner Ban said:

  • We have been searching for a suitable spot to bring Zaap to York for two years now, and I believe we’ve found the perfect home at 7 Lendal.

    Twenty years ago, I could never have imagined just where my dreams would take me, but it turns out that the UK has welcomed Thai food with open arms.

    We cannot wait to introduce Zaap to the people of York and look forward to inviting them in for an authentic taste of Thailand, where street food is not just a meal, but a way of life.

Historic York pub could be turned into a holiday let

An historic pub is set to be turned into a holiday rental.

The Woolpack Inn on Fawcett Street in Fishergate could become a seven-bedroom holiday let.

Developers Loppas Ltd have submitted a planning application for the pub – which closed in the past year.

They want to make changes to the three-storey building to create seven ensuite bedrooms, a dining area, lounge and kitchen.

‘No adverse impact’

It’s been trough a few changes
In planning documents, the developers state:

  • There is little doubt that the Woolpack Inn public house is valued by the community.

    However, it is noted that there are a number of other public houses immediately adjacent to the site, and York city centre is within 800m of the site.

    Whilst these may not have the same range of facilities provided by the Woolpack Inn, they do provide similar services and facilities for the local community.

    In light of this, it is not considered that the loss of the Woolpack Inn as a public house would necessarily have an adverse impact on the community’s ability to meet its day to day needs.

It adds that the Grade II-listed building was originally designed as a home in the early 19th century and only became a pub in the 20th century.

Changed little

It was relaunched as a traditional real ale pub. Photograph: the Woolpack on Twitter
Documents say the appearance of the building has changed very little since it was constructed.

There would be no parking provided as part of the scheme and the plans say there will be few alterations made to the outside of the building.

The statement adds: “In the applicant’s view, the proposed development would bring economic benefits through the net gain of holiday accommodation within a sustainable location immediately adjacent to the York city centre, without resulting in the unacceptable loss of an asset of community value.”

The Woolpack has been through a few changes in recent years. Previously a Punch Taverns pub, it was bought in 2013 by Paul Crossman and Jon Farrow, who also own The Slip Inn and The Volunteer Arms.

It was a music venue, hosting lots of live gigs. Then in 2014 it was relaunched as a ‘beer and conversation pub’.

And in late 2016 it was taken over by two teachers turned publicans who reopened it as a ‘no gimmicks’ pub.

It’s original pub name was The Fat Ox, but was known as the Woolpack by 1867, according to A Directory Of York Pubs by Hugh Murray.

York pub shut and boarded up – as plans to take another ‘more upmarket’ are revealed

The latest Sam Smith’s pub in York to close is the Brown Cow on Hope Street.

The Victorian-era pub is boarded up and closed for business.

Owners Samuel Smith Brewery have not commented on the closure. The news emerged about a month after YorkMix revealed another pub in the group – the York Arms on High Petergate – had shut suddenly.

The brewery is advertising for new managers for both pubs.

For the York Arms, it is looking for live-in joint managers, saying it needs an “enthusiastic live-in couple to take the clientele more upmarket”.

The job ad for the Brown Cow is looking for a permanent, live-in single manager.

Historic home

The Brown Cow on Hope Street in 1974. Photograph: Hugh Murray
The Brown Cow is first mentioned in the York records as an unnamed beer house in 1834, before taking the name The Red Cow the following year.

According to Hugh Murray’s A Directory Of York Pubs, by 1838 it had a full licence and the name the Brown Cow.

It was a no-frills place, as Hugh writes:

  • In 1902 it was basically a four roomed cottage with only two bedrooms above a smoke-room and kitchen.

    There was no pantry. The family’s food was kept in the cellar.

    Food was never asked for and not even a biscuit was available to customers. The family and customers shared a single WC.

It expanded in 1906. And 50 years ago, in April 1939, it was the scene of half a darts match. The other half was held in The Ark, Maidenhead, “the two establishments linked by radio”.

York restaurant closes after 15 years – as two new names open on Shambles

Big changes have been revealed at two restaurants, just yards apart on York’s most famous street.

L’Antica Locanda at 33 Shambles has closed after almost 15 years in business. In its place, a new restaurant called Sapori York will open on August 11, specialising is traditional Sardinian food.

The move follows another relaunch directly opposite at Ristorante Bari, York’s oldest Italian restaurant. After 41 years under that name it has now become Monty’s, still run by the same family.

Sapori York is owned by Francesca Pischedda, who moved from Sardinia to York five years ago, and the head chef is Francesco Chiligoni.

Mr Pischedda told YorkMix:

  • We are doing a refurbishment and will have a launch event on August 11, then will be open to the public on the 12th.

    I am from Ploaghe in northern Sardinia and we will be doing traditional Sardinian food.

    I moved to York to work five years ago and this is my first restaurant of my own. I am excited to get going.

Attracting new customers

Closed – L’Antica Locanda, soon to be Sapori York. Photographs: YorkMix
The breakfast menu at Sapori includes dishes like avocado on toast (£6.95) and eggs Benedict (£7.95).

Mains include classics like spaghetti carbonara (£10.95), bistecca al pepe (8oz sirloin steak served with peppercorn sauce – £19.95) as well as vegetarian options.

At Monty’s opposite, owner Fraser Reid-Collins said they wanted to diversify to appeal to new customers.

They still serve pasta but have stopped doing pizzas and have instead added a wider range of breakfast, brunch, lunch and evening dishes.

Ristorante Bari had opened in 1978, replacing an earlier restaurant that closed after a fire.

Monty’s – formerly Ristorante Bari

The name change reflected a change of direction for the business after so long, with more focus on daytime customers.

He said:

  • More people are looking to eat out in the day now compared to before, with a bit less demand in evenings.

    It has been going very well for us since we changed, with more people coming in in the mornings and lunchtimes.

He also mentioned growing concern in York around nighttime drunken behaviour as a deterrent for some people who might have eaten out in evenings, and said their success in recent weeks had shown he had been right to make he change.

He said some of the old menu had been retained but pizzas had gone and there were now more breakfast and lunch options.

Pizza restaurant set to open in former shoe shop

A former shoe shop shop in the city centre could become York’s latest pizza restaurant.

A planning application has been submitted to City of York Council to turn the former Pavers shop on Piccadilly into a restaurant.

It would span both floors of the building.

And there would be an authentic wood-fired pizza oven installed as part of the plans.

Currently the venue is occupied by the Blueberry Academy pop-up shop. The academy was offered the space for up to five months at reduced rent while it was empty.

Called Cresci

The building was occupied by Pavers before the shop moved to Coppergate
The application, submitted by Berardo Caggiano, says:

  • The restaurant will be called Cresci and will special in pizzas, a small handful of starters and desserts and drinks including alcohol.

    As the building is a self-contained property we don’t expect any noise between buildings which will cause any concern.

    External noise may increase at the end of business when customers will be leaving together, but we expect them to disperse from the area quickly.

    We expect a steady footfall of customers at other times not causing extra concerns.

The application says the new pizza restaurant would open seven days a week from midday until about 10pm.

Chart-topper John Newman creates a stir with his Yorkshire puddings – video

He’s better known for stirring up emotions with his soulful singing than for whisking up a top Yorkshire pud.

But John Newman hit the York Roast Co on Low Petergate to show what he could do with a batter mix.

The musician, best-known for his number one hit Love Me Again, was joining the Great Yorkshire Pudding Challenge.

Launched by the York Roast Co, inventors of smash-hit fast food the Yorky Pud wrap, the challenge has set out to find the next ground-breaking Yorkshire pudding creation.

Originally from Settle, John is a big fan of the delicacy. With his band, John handed out free samples to shoppers ahead of his sell-out gig at the Crescent Community Venue.

Top prizes

In partnership with York BID and the Cookery School at The Grand, the York Roast Co created the Yorkshire pudding challenge for foodies across the UK.

To enter, dream up a dazzling new food sensation involving the humble Yorkshire pud, before uploading
photos of your tempting creation to Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

A selection of aspiring cooks will be chosen by the public to take part in the final, presenting their creations to a panel of experts before the winner is crowned.

The final will take place on 1 August at the Grand Cookery School as part of a big Yorkshire Day celebration organised by the York BID, which includes a free film show, shopping trail and more.

Yorkshire Pudding Challenge judges include the Cookery School’s Andrew Dixon as well as the current World Yorkshire Pudding Champion Christopher Blackburn.

The winner will bag an overnight stay at The Grand, a Cookery School experience and £100 worth of The York Roast Co vouchers.

To find out more and enter, visit the website.

Neighbour objects to pub because they can hear its quiz questions from their lounge

Plans to extend a pub’s opening hours have been criticised by a neighbour – who claims they can hear the quiz questions from their lounge.

The owners of The Corner Pin on Tanner Row have asked City of York Council for permission to extend their opening hours from 1.30am on Fridays and Saturdays to 3am.

But a resident living nearby has objected to the proposals – complaining about noise from the pub and saying the outdoor lighting means their window cleaner can no longer reach their bedroom windows.

The conservatory doors are often left open says the neighbour

A letter written from the neighbour to the council’s licensing committee says:

  • The conservatory doors are constantly left open and even held open by a hook so I can plainly hear the questions on quiz nights from within my lounge.

    I have to suffer constant noise past the allowable hours and the additional lighting in the beer garden is left on all night illuminating the side of my house and the two bedrooms – [the manager] had the audacity to tell me he could not switch them off since a refurbishment.

    There is also a CCTV camera now facing my house wall and presumably my bedroom windows.

    The new lighting strung across the outside area has also meant that my window cleaners cannot now access the two bedroom windows for cleaning.

Police withdraw objection

The pub is owned by Marston’s Brewery
The pub, which is owned by Marston’s brewery, has agreed to have two bouncers on the door on Friday and Saturday nights from 10pm until closing time if they are granted an extension to their licence.

As a result, the police have withdrawn their objection to the application.

A letter submitted as part of the application says: “It is not necessarily intended that the premises will be traded regularly to the times proposed, it is more trying to avoid the need for temporary event notices etc.”

A Marston’s spokesperson said:

  • We are hoping to extend the licensing hours for the Corner Pin for discretionary use on Friday and Saturday evenings.

    We have worked with the local responsible authorities on ensuring we have correct protocols in place for this and have their full support.

    We hope this will be a great opportunity for the pub to accommodate additional trade at peak times.

The pub is located in the city centre cumulative impact zone – an area where there is a significant number of licensed premises. The meeting will take place at West Offices at 10am on July 4.

More details emerge about York’s first axe-throwing centre

We revealed in April that plans were afoot to create the first axe-throwing centre in York city centre – and now it is a step closer to reality.

The Hilt restaurant, housed in a shop next door to Savers on Goodramgate, would come complete with an area for competitive axe-throwing.

Co-owner Alex Cronin has now submitted a planning application for the venue. This reveals that the shopfront facing Goodramgate “will be painted a dark blue and textured to look aged with highlights of Nordic runes in a dark grey.”

There will be five axe-throwing bays complete with targets alongside the restaurant.

Historic origins

57 Goodramgate, which will be home to The Hilt
The building is grade II listed and one of a pair of semi-detached three-storey early 18th century houses.

Alex says they will protect the history:

  • The project team is fully aware of the historic significance of this building and the surrounding environment.

    As such all works have been designed and specified with the overriding concept of protecting the historic elements of the building throughout the proposed works.

    The final decorations and theming of the development is based around Vikings, paying homage to the city’s historic origins.

Alex ran the pop-up cocktail bar Speakeasy Libation in York before being invited by the people behind Spark:York to open the 4Swings bar there.

The Hilt will sell a range of cocktails, but Alex said that only sober people would be allowed to take part in the axe-throwing.

York chippy to open new branch – in China!

A chippy that made international headlines last year as a must-visit destination for Chinese tourists could soon be opening in one of the country’s major southern cities.

Tony Webster, the owner of Scotts Fish & Chips, has agreed a deal in principle with a consortium of Chinese businessmen to open in partnership an “authentic” Scotts in Chengdu, the capital of the southwestern province of Sichuan.

Since Chinese President Xi Jinping was treated to fish and chips by former British Prime Minister David Cameron in 2015, visiting a chippy is now seen as a must-do for Chinese tourists visiting the country.

Last year, Scotts’ – based on the A64 at Bilborough near York – became the chippy of choice for scores of coach parties passing through Yorkshire.

Incredibly exciting

Scotts Fish and Chips proprietor Tony Webster, left, and Will Zhuang outside the Bilborough branch
Tony teamed up with Chinese national Will Zhuang – who manages Chinese social media for Visit York and Leeds City Region – to help promote his venue to Chinese tour groups in China planning UK visits.

The marketing strategy they devised saw Scotts launch a Chinese website on Weibo, using the Wechat messaging app because Facebook and Twitter are banned in the China, and translate its menu into Mandarin and Cantonese, which can be downloaded on smartphones and tablets via a QR code.

Tony said: “In 2017 we had very few Chinese customers, but thanks to a focused marketing strategy a trickle turned into a flood. Because of this it attracted the attention of the worldwide media.

“The subsequent publicity we received was simply phenomenal and resulted in Scotts becoming a household name both here and abroad.”

He said he was approached by a consortium of Chinese businessmen keen to recreate Scotts in the southern Chinese city of Chengdu, which has a population of 7.5 million people.

  • This is an incredibly exciting prospect – one that I could never have imagined 12 months ago.

    Later this year, if all goes to plan, Chinese tourists could be tucking into fish and chips at Scotts in North Yorkshire, while at the same time western tourists could be enjoying traditional fish and chips in southern China. What a mouth-watering prospect that would be!

Are you free for a drink? Bar with Guy Fawkes escape room to open in York

The team behind one of York’s best bars have a new venture – and it couldn’t be more different.

Vicky Lu Evans and her husband Simon have run The Habit on Goodramgate since 2004, establishing it as one of York’s best venues for beer, food and live music.

Now they are opening The Rehab – a bar with escape rooms attached.

The new venture will boast two escape rooms – one for families and one for adults. Players will compete to solve the clues and unlock the door, with the added incentive of knowing craft beers and freshly-prepared food is waiting on the other side.

“It will be totally different,” Vicky told YorkMix.

Two rooms

The location… former wine bar Veeno on Piccadilly
Vicky said they have been looking to start a new venture for about six years, but were waiting to find the right venue.

The Rehab will open in the former Veeno wine bar building on Piccadilly, thanks to its hidden asset – a huge basement, which is bigger than the ground floor.

Originally they considered converting it into a play area for children. But then they were introduced to the people behind The Escapologist in Selby, a bar and escape rooms, and thought the idea perfect.

The Escapologist team are going to convert the basement into two escape rooms.

The child-friendly room will have a wizarding theme (*cough* Harry Potter), while the adult version will be themed around York’s favourite plotter Guy Fawkes.

Craft beer haven

The Habit, a York favourite since 2004. Photograph: Richard McDougall
The ground floor bar will have a rustic feel, Vicky said.

There will be around five cask ales on the bar, as well as a range of craft beers from around the world.

The menu will lean heavily on veggie and vegan dishes, with only a couple of meat and fish options. It will feature locally-sourced ingredients.

And the new venture will create at least five jobs, which will be advertised soon.

Work is now underway to fit out The Rehab, with the aim of opening it in August.

“We’re so excited about this,” Vicky said. So are we!

Video: 4p fish and chip offer draws huge queues in York city centre

Video: 4p fish and chip offer draws huge queues in York city centre

Remember when you could get one of each, and still have change from a shilling?

Well you should do – because that was today!

People queued halfway around Parliament Street in York today to take advantage of a very special offer.

As we revealed earlier this week, the National Fish & Chip Museum opened today with an amazing offer – fish and chips for 4p.

Busy today? Photographs: Danny Allen/PA Wire

No one worried about the rain
Still a way to go
The reigning British champion town crier greets two early scoffers

The price harked back to Victorian times when the meal first became popular.

And the deal certainly tickled York’s tastebuds as hundreds of people queued to try this fast food favourite at a never-to-be-battered (sorry, bettered) price.

Altogether about 1,000 meals were sold at fourpence. From now on though, a portion goes back to the more modern price of £5.99.

It’s official! Three York restaurants named among the Top 100 in the UK

We already knew they were there – now we have the full delicious details.

We revealed on May 6 that three York restaurants were to be named among Britain’s best.

Now small plates specialist Skosh, French-British bistro Le Cochon Aveugle, and Tommy Banks’ Roots York have been officially named in the top 100 in the Estrella Damm National Restaurant Awards 2019.

The awards are voted for by an academy of over 200 chefs, restaurateurs and food critics – so it’s a true accolade. Congrats all!


Neil Bentinck of Skosh. Photograph: Karen Turner

Location: Micklegate, York
Position in the Top 100: 40
What the judges said:

  • Chef-patron Neil Bentinck sends out a procession of small plates that deftly mix influences from Britain, Europe and Asia, especially Japan.

    It’s an ambitious approach that has been gleefully embraced by locals and visitors, after rave reviews from national critics, helping to turn Micklegate into a food and drink hotspot in the walled city.


Heavenly food… Photograph: Roots York on Facebook
Location: Marygate, York
Position in the Top 100: 42
What the judges said:

  • Roots is the city slicker equivalent to the country gent that is The Black Swan at Oldstead, chef Tommy Banks and family’s hugely popular North Yorkshire restaurant [and number 29 in the list], and retains all the charm of its older sibling but in a more modern setting.

    Coming from a farming background, Banks has created a menu at Roots that uses an abundance of interesting produce.

Le Cochon Aveugle

Photograph: Le Cochon Aveugle / National Restaurant Awards
Location: Walmgate, York
Position in the Top 100: 95
What the judges said:

  • There’s no menu online at Le Cochon Aveugle. In fact there’s no peeking at the menu when you get there either because there isn’t one. Instead, chef-patron Josh Overington serves a four- or eight-course ‘blind’ tasting menu (Cochon Aveugle is French for ‘blind pig’) with guests discovering what they are eating when the dishes arrive.

    It’s a brave and slightly mischievous idea, which adds drama to the dining experience and allows the restaurant to adapt dishes to the seasons and which ingredients look good on a particular day.

More than 200 beers and its own canning machine – Unique beer shop to open in York

A new craft beer shop is planned for the heart of York city centre, promising a huge range for customers and a novel ‘crowler’ option.

Plans have been revealed for 21 Colliergate, which has most recently housed the Pandora’s Box antiques and curiosities shop.

If the city council approves a licensing application, the shop will become Hop O’Clock, a craft beer shop open from 11am to 9pm every day.

The application has been submitted by James Hoggar, director of Hop O’Clock, which is registered at Forest Farm Business Park nest Crockey Hill.

He told YorkMix that he hoped the shop would open in mid-July and would sell more than 200 beers “from the crazy to the classic, and everything in between”.

Crowler machine

Formerly home to Pandora’s Box, this would be Hop O’Clock on Colliergate. Photograph: Richard McDougall
The shop will also have a crowler machine, which allows people to choose from a range of fresh beers and have a can filled and sealed on the spot for them to takeaway.

The machines are popular in the US but still rare in the UK, and the one at Brass Castle Brewery in Malton has proved popular.

James said:

  • This is a new project for me, and will be the first business I’ve run.

    I’ve been living in Bruges in Belgium recently but my wife and I have visited York and loved it and we’re moving to the city and will live above the shop.

    York has a good beer scene and it reminded us of Bruges as well, with the medieval streets.

Hop O’Clock would become the latest in a series of beer shops to open in the city, as the UK’s beer revolution continues. The House of The Trembling Madness opened its Lendal branch a year ago this week, and Hop & Glory opened in Acomb last spring.

Number 21 Colliergate is Grade II listed and is described by Historic England as an early 18th-century house, with even earlier origins, but some alterations from the 1800s and 1900s.

It has two shop rooms on the ground floor, totalling 259sq ft, with a flat above. The shop was D & R J Maddison clock and watch repairs for many years but became Pandora’s Box in 2015.

Phil Pinder, chair of York Retail Forum, said: “It’s fantastic to see another new shop opening in York. We wish them all the best with their plans, and look forward to meeting the owners.”

Video: Inside York’s first cat café

After one false start and a lot of anticipation, York now has its very first cat café.

The Cat’s Whiskers opened a few days ago in a listed three-storey building on Goodramgate.

Complete with 11 cats, including Freddie and Teddy, Simba, Bear and Snowy and Olaf – who are both deaf – the café is the only place for any feline fancier.

As we reported earlier this year, The Cat’s Whiskers is the brainchild of Lily Cole, who used to work at the North Yorkshire Police control room.

It costs £7 per person for an hour in the café. You can buy drinks and cakes too, but that’s up to you.

You can find out more, and book your slot, on the Cat’s Whiskers website.

Popular York pub reopens – with a new name and a new concept

There’s a new name on York’s street of food and drink.

What was Sutlers is now the Fossgate Tap. It reopened today (Friday 24 May) after a makeover, and with a new approach to food and drink.

The Fossgate Tap is the first to be rebranded under a new concept from owners Camerons Brewery.

It bought the Leeds Brewery pub estate in 2016, including the Duke Of York on King’s Square and the Eagle And Child on High Petergate.

So we might see some changes here too.

Brewing partners

Inside the Fossgate Tap
In a statement, Camerons said they were “introducing a new group of venues under their Urban Country Pubs brand. This group will be based on the Leeds Brewery pubs the brewer acquired in 2016”.

The Urban Country Pubs group will form a partnership with a local brewer and a range of their products will be included on the bar.

And the Fossgate Tap is the first to give this a go.

Camerons is working alongside Yorkshire brewer Turning Point Brew Co. as their partner at the venue.

The exterior of the bar, which is on the corner of Fossgate and Pavement. Photograph: YorkMix

Chris Soley, chief executive at Camerons, said:

  • We felt forming a partnership with a local brewer in the community would be a great way of introducing our venues into a new town or city and in turn give a platform for that brewer to showcase their range of beers.

    We are delighted to be working with Turning Point Brew Co. on this first venue and we look forward to building relationships with other UK brewers as we further grow this group.

Beer range

The new-look interior
The bar will be stocked with Turning Point stalwarts Disco King (APA) and Lucid Dream (milk stout), alongside two rotating guest kegs.

Cask will be session pale Soothsayer and one there’ll be rotating guest line.

Cameron Brown, co-owner and head brewer at Turning Point Brew Co, said:

  • Six of our beers will be on at any time so look forward to finding our newest releases, one-offs, and beery events here.

    We’ll also be inviting collaborating breweries down from time to time to showcase their beers.

    This is an exciting project for us. With York being so close to home we’re very happy to have our beers permanently featured at such a central location in a great York venue, and with just over two years under our belts, this is something we are incredibly proud of!

Sutlers Bar & Kitchen was opened by Richard Beal in March 2015.

A labour of love, he spent two years converting the former Army & Navy store into a quirky, trendy and friendly bar with distinct rooms and spaces.

It was one of the first bars in York to have a truly great collection of gin. And it launched ‘Tinder Tuesday’ – after a disastrous date went viral.

Closed: Jamie’s Italian in York shut down as restaurant group collapses

The Jamie’s Italian restaurant in York has closed after the group collapsed into adminstration.

The St Helen’s Square branch is one of 22 closed by administrators KPMG.

Founder of the business, celebrity chef Jamie Oliver has said he is “devastated” by the loss of the business, which makes around 1,000 staff members redundant.

The business, which includes Jamie’s Italian, Barbecoa and Fifteen, confirmed the closure of all its sites excluding its two Jamie’s Italian restaurants and Jamie’s Diner at Gatwick Airport.

Mr Oliver offered £4 million to support a last-minute search for funds, but with “no investment forthcoming” and in light of difficult trading conditions, the firm appointed the administrators.

Support for staff

Lendal Cellars pub is unaffected
Mr Oliver took to Twitter to express his sadness, saying he was “devastated” and thanking those who “put their hearts and souls into this business over the years”.

In an official statement, the chef added:

  • We launched Jamie’s Italian in 2008 with the intention of positively disrupting mid-market dining in the UK high street, with great value and much higher quality ingredients, best-in-class animal welfare standards and an amazing team who shared my passion for great food and service.

    And we did exactly that.

Understandably staff reacted like this to the news:

The note posted by administrators

Will Wright, partner at KPMG and joint administrator, said: “Unfortunately, with insufficient funds available to be able to trade the business in administration, all but the Gatwick airport restaurants have now closed.

“Our priority in the coming hours and days is to work with those employees who have been made redundant, providing any support and assistance they need.”

All restaurant salaries will be paid up to the date of the administrator’s appointment, KPMG added.

Rise and fall

Card image cap

Spread over two floors of an old Tudor wine cellar, Jamie’s Italian York also featured an outdoor dining area, labelled the secret garden.

The menu featured pasta, pizza and flatbreads, and was popular with families.

But it has faced a lot of competition in recent years – not least from Carluccio’s, which opened across St Helen’s Square in 2016.

That chain was launched by Antonio Carluccio – Jamie Oliver’s mentor. He began his career as a pastry chef at Antonio’s Neal Street restaurant in London, gaining his first experience of cooking Italian.

Photograph: Ian West/PA Wire

Swing seats planned for ‘fun and immersive’ new café in York

A new café in York could make you swing for your supper.

Plans for the three-storey Plush Café on Stonegate include a room with “swings instead of traditional chairs for seating providing a fun and immersive dining experience”.

To meet planning requirements for Stonegate, the café would also come with its own shop on the front of the ground floor.

This would sell Plush Café branded coffee beans and loose teas.

The new development would be in number 6 Stonegate, currently occupied by the Cheese & Wine Emporium.

‘Must-see attraction’

In planning documents submitted to City of York Council, Plush Café managing director Jaydene Halliday sets out what makes the concept so different.

  • Plush Café intends to delight, not just satisfy, its customers.

    It is determined to become a must-see visitor attraction. Plush Café will capitalize on its fantastic location to provide a range of luxury coffees and teas, including organic, vegan and “better-for-you” offerings, and a unique and immersive atmosphere that gives “more”.

The building offers three floors and a basement. As well as the shop, there will be three themed dining rooms “that are both unique and exciting”.

To the rear of the ground floor will be The Neon Room, with an “opulent, luxurious feel”, complete with neon signs.

The front of the first floor will become The Garden Room, featuring those swing seats, while the rear will be The Moroccan Room, complete with “low seating and an extravagant amount of floor cushions”.

Plush Café envisages employing five full-time baristas/waiting staff, excluding the café manager, and up to two part-time staff.

Dating from the 17th century, the property on Stonegate is Grade II listed. According to signs on the front, the Cheese & Wine Emporium is relocating.

Pop-up bar to open in York city centre gardens this summer

Summer’s nearly here, and a new pop-up drinking space will make it even better in York.

City hotel The Principal York welcomes Sól Ást – a pop-up tipi bar with a summery vibe – to the hotel from 24 May.

Last seen in Dean’s Park last summer, the bar celebrates summer (sól means sun and ást means affection in Old Norse) and will be situated in the hotel gardens until 1 September.

It will serve a range of summery drinks including Pimm’s and mojitos.

There’ll be beers on tap and in bottles, and summer breezers like frozen pina coladas, mango daiquiris, espresso martinis and frosé – frozen rosé wine. Coffee, tea and low calorie and alcohol-free options are also on the menu.

Stunning setting

Coming complete with day beds, summer tunes and a giant board game for kids young and old, the pop-up bar will be a great addition to the Principal York, says general manager Tracy Harrison:

  • The striking canvas tipi will be adorned with greenery and lanterns, and sit proudly in our extensive manicured gardens, giving everyone popping in the chance to enjoy a stunning historical setting, overlooking the ancient city walls with a drink in hand.

Run by Thor’s Bars, best known in York for the Christmas tipi bar on Parliament Street, Sól Ást will be open from 11am–11pm daily between 24 May and 1 September 2019.

Three York restaurants named in UK’s top 100 – while city chef is up for national award

York’s reputation as a city of foodie delights continues to grow.

Three independent eateries have been shortlisted for major national awards.

In the last few days French-British bistro Le Cochon Aveugle, small plates specialist Skosh and Tommy Banks’ Roots York have been named in the top 100 in the Estrella Damm National Restaurant Awards 2019.

And the same awards have shortlised Skosh chef Neil Bentinck as one of the ‘chefs to watch’ – which “singles out an individual that is set to have a stellar 12 months (and more) ahead of them, regardless of age or experience”.

As you’d expect, the restaurants are all thrilled by the honour.

‘What an honour’

Chef at Le Cochon Aveugle… Josh Overington. Photograph: Karen Turner
Run by Restaurant magazine, the Estrella Damm National Restaurant Awards top 100 is voted for by chefs, restaurateurs and food writers.

One of the 100 will be revealed as the Restaurant of the Year at a ceremony in June.

Chef Josh Overington and partner Victoria Roberts of Le Cochon Aveugle on Walmgate said they were “absolutely amazed and buzzing” to be in the top 100.

In a Facebook post, they wrote:

  • This is an incredible list with some some truly amazing restaurants on it, and we are delighted to be named amongst them.

    Voted by industry experts, this is a phenomenal achievement for our team and restaurant. What an honour – and, of course, huge thanks and congratulations to our team.

It isn’t the first accolate for the restaurant. It was named the fourth best restaurant in Yorkshire by Hardens Top 100 in 2018.

Super proud

Neil Bentinck of Skosh. Photograph: Karen Turner
Another culinary star of York is showcased by the awards.

As well as seeing his Micklegate restaurant Skosh named in the top 100, Neil Bentinck is one of only 12 ‘chefs to watch’ shortlisted from all the venues nationwide.

“The rankings always feature the most exciting places and the whole team at Skosh are massively honoured and super proud to be included,” they said on Facebook.

And Neil said he was “honoured and flattered” to be on the chefs shortlist.

Tommy Banks (centre) and the Roots York team in front of the restaurant

Skosh has been a hit with diners and critics alike since it opened in 2016. It was named the Yorkshire Life Restaurant of the Year and received a Bib Gourmand in the Michelin Guide the following year.

Meanwhile Roots York on Marygate – which only opened last September – said it was “incredible to be on this list in our first few months of being open, alongside our sister, the Black Swan at Oldstead too”.

Chef Tommy Banks added: “Such an honour. I always dreamt of having a restaurant on this list and this year we have two!”

Genius mickey-take of Instagram video shot in York goes seriously viral

She is a full-time blogger who has made it into a number of lists of the ‘most influential’ Instagram accounts.

And now her parents are in on the action, thanks to a video shot in York.

Jess Gibson is a travel and lifestyle writer based in Leeds. She has nearly 20K followers on Instagram, where she posts many stories about her travels and life as a new mum.

So when her parents were booked in for a special night at a York restaurant they decided to do their own version.

And it has gone seriously viral. When tweeted by Jess, the video has been seen more than 1.2 million times

The 45-second video chronicles their attempts to leave the house – delayed by having to put the recycling out – and their trip to Roots York.

They tucked into the ‘Hunger Gap’ feast menu at the restaurant, featuring deer, beef, pickled clams and rhubarb ice cream.

The video is a brilliant spoof on an Instagram story, featuring multiple quickly edited clips and even a home-made ‘boomerang’ effect. And it includes their verdict: “Amazing!” “Yum.”

People loved it – including the restaurant itself…


‘Absolutely fantastic!’ York Restaurant Week to return after first event gets five-star reviews

The inaugural York Restaurant Week has received a five-star review from restaurants and diners alike.

The event, which ran from 1-7 April, was organised by the York BID (Business Improvement District) to boost business for restaurants in the city centre during a quieter time of the year.

It was particularly targeted at encouraging city residents to try something new. Participating venues created special foodie offers for £10, £15 and £20.

And the response has been excellent. Manager at Low Petergate restaurant Mr P’s Curious Tavern Neringa Didzgalvyte said:

  • The event was absolutely fantastic!

    So many people were interested and most of them were based in York and surrounding areas. There are not enough events in York oriented towards locals and local businesses.

£77K business

Chris Bush of York BID with York Restaurant Week leaflets
During the summer months visitors and tourists help fill the many restaurants and cafés in the summer months, said event co-ordinator, Chris Bush.

“Our aim with York Restaurant Week was to bring local people into the city centre, so we focused all the week’s promotion on those living in and around York – and it worked phenomenally well,” he said.

  • We had over 200,000 unique visitors to the dedicated website, our content on social media reached a potential audience of well over one million people, and nearly 5,750 vouchers were downloaded from the website – that equates to over £77,000 worth of business for York restaurateurs.

The impact was seen across the 41 businesses that took part in the week, with 88% saying that the event brought in first time customers and noticeably boosted their trade, attracting both daytime and evening diners.

One restauranteur commented, “It was a positive, non-alcohol based driver of publicity and positive marketing for the city.”

Kendall Craven-Evans, general manager at Grape Lane restaurant Los Moros, said: “Overall, we enjoyed the event and appreciate the effort which went into it.

“We even gained new customers who have returned since the event already!”

Plans are already afoot for 2020, with a slightly earlier date in March planned, and it is hoped that many more businesses within the city centre will join the initiative following the inaugural week’s success.

For more details, please contact Chris Bush at the York BID on 01904 809970 or email

This is the latest York shop set to become a restaurant

Another York shop looks set to be converted into a restaurant – serving food, drink and picnic baskets.

Plans are in to turn Joy on High Ousegate into a “casual-dining experience”.

The York branch of the British fashion and lifestyle brand has been trading on the street since November 2014.

But Kayas York Ltd – which also operates the Ate O’Clock restaurant next door to Joy – has submitted a planning application to City of York Council to turn the shop into another restaurant opening between 8am and 1am daily.

They say the plan would give the Grade II listed building an “economically viable use, and allow the building to remain occupied in the decreasing commercial high street”.

Year-round hampers

Joy on High Ousegate, with Ate O’Clock next door
The new venture would include a retailing area at the front of the ground floor.

According to planning documents, this would sell “year-round seasonal hampers containing locally sourced food and beverages”. And

  • Throughout summer, customers will have the opportunity to purchase picnic baskets, which contains a blanket and a map of nearby picnic hotspots, as well as being able to purchase a variety of Yorkshire-based food and beverage products to fill it with, including meats, cheeses and wines.

Under the plans, behind the retail area on the ground floor would be a pizza oven, a counter servery, and a number of tables and chairs.

The first floor would have more restaurant covers, and the second floor would be a staff area.

What about the food and drink? Documents say:

  • This new restaurant proposes to be for those wanting a quick but delicious take-out or casual-dining experience.

    Whether customers are professional individuals looking for coffee or lunch on-the-go, or are a family wanting a quick refreshment and a bite to eat, the restaurant will cater to all demographics by offering a variety of locally-sourced products, ranging from baguettes, pizza, sandwiches and salads for both adults and children.

    Customers choosing to eat later in the evening can enjoy an American/ltalian-style pizza or an individual American-style pizza slice on either the ground or first floor dining area.

The building dates from the early 1700s although the shop front is a 20th century modernisation.

York bar wants to rebrand as a beer and pizza venue – or it could close

A landmark York bar and restaurant is looking to boost its fortunes with a rebrand.

The Missoula – Montana Bar & Grill opened on Bridge Street in 2014.

But if planners give permission, it will soon be reborn as the Tank & Paddle – one of a chain that specialises in craft beer and pizza.

Owners the Stonegate Pub Company have put in an application to install new signs, including a neon sign set behind the windows overlooking the river, as part of “a scheme to essentially rebrand, refresh and update the existing signage scheme on these premises”.

And the rebrand is needed to save the venue from closure, planning documents argue.

Bar could shut

All change? The Missoula bar on Bridge Street. Photographs: YorkMix
In their application to the council, the owners state that the “commercial leisure market in general is suffering from the on-going effects of the economic recession, during the declining and continuing difficult economic climate, not helped by the economic uncertainties over ‘Brexit’, and the application site itself has suffered from lost revenue”.

The rebrand is “an attempt to attract more customers to the site to enhance the economic well-being of this existing commercial leisure facility”. The documents continue:

  • If additional custom cannot be attracted to the site, there is a risk that the operators may consider shutting the property.

    The closure of this bar would have a far more detrimental impact upon the special historic significance, interest, character and appearance of these listed premises, the settings of the neighbouring heritage assets and the wider conservation area than the proposed replacement signage scheme.

Yard-long pizzas

The bar has great riverside views
The Tank & Paddle brand is currently restricted to a few venues in London.

The first was “built on the simple concept of pizza and beer but has grown into a social hub of regular pizza passionates and beer lovers,” according to the website.

They offer freshly made stone baked pizzas up to a yard long – the paddle – and Meantime brewery fresh tank beer – the tank.

Menus include the margherita pizza for £9 and a pepperoni pizza called Meat Your Match for £10. Mac and cheese is another popular dish.

York’s first axe-throwing centre set to open inside brand new restaurant

In a first for York, an axe-throwing centre is set to open inside a brand-new restaurant.

The Hilt will feature six axe-throwing bays behind a restaurant serving ‘American bar food with a Nordic twist’.

It will also feature some unique cocktails – although the proprietors are quick to stress that no one under the influence of alcohol will be allowed to throw the axes.

Co-owner of The Hilt, Alex Cronin, told YorkMix:

  • We’re going to open up a restaurant with a really creative food and drinks focus – and some axe-throwing bays in the back.

    There’s nothing else quite like it around here.

The nearest existing axe-throwing range is an outdoor one at the Yorkshire Activity Centre at Askham Bryan.

Create 20 jobs

Some of the cocktails served up at 4Swings bar in Spark:York
The plan is to open the restaurant and axe centre at number 57 Goodramgate – next door to Savers – this summer.

The building already has planning permission for a restaurant. Alex has put in a licensing application which would see it operating from 8am to 12.30am Sunday to Thursday, and an hour later on Friday and Saturdays.

The Hilt

This application also details the precautionary measures to ensure the cocktails and axe-throwing don’t mix.

“You have to be sober. If you show up drunk then, for pretty obvious reasons, we are not going to hand you an axe,” he said.

“Health and safety are the biggest concerns in the axe bays.”

The new venue would have about 80 covers and create around 20 jobs.

Axe-throwing boom

If you’re a regular on social media, you have probably seen the boom in the activity of axe throwing.

“It’s absolutely blowing up in Canada and America – and it’s starting to get a really good foothold over here,” Alex said.

“Imagine you’re at an archery or shooting range. But instead of firing a gun or shooting a bow, you’re throwing an axe. Obviously the distances are less, but it’s the exact same thing.”

The idea came from his friend Josh Goodwin. Originally from York, Josh had moved to the States but called Alex with the vision of opening an axe-throwing centre in his home town.

Asking for advice on possible locations, Alex told him about the Goodramgate venue – which would be the perfect size for both businesses to combine.

He also sees the axe-throwing activity as a way to help tame the stag and hen problem in York. And not in a violent way!

  • One of the reasons I think we have such a problem with hen and stag dos in York is – what is there to do?

    You’ve got a couple of escape rooms… and drinking. And really that’s it.

    Trying to add an events base – and one where you have to be sober – would actually start to have a serious, good impact on the city centre.

Cocktails in the blood

57 Goodramgate, which will be home to The Hilt
For Alex, the restaurant and bar would be the continuation of a journey which began when he was 18 and first came to England from his home in Virginia, US.

Alex, whose dad is British and mum is American, passed through York on his travels and thought “it seemed like a nice place to start out”.

He began working in pubs and bars in the city, following in his family’s footsteps.

“My grandfather ran an Italian restaurant in New Jersey that was so good the Mafia always dined there,” Alex said.

“He didn’t care who ate there as long as there wasn’t any violence.”

Alex ran the pop-up cocktail bar Speakeasy Libation in York before being invited by the people behind Spark:York to open a bar there – and 4Swings was born.

It closed last month as Alex concentrated on his new venture. The Hilt will build on the reputation for creativity he established at 4Swings.

Cocktails will include colour-changing mojitos and bacon infused bourbon with maple syrup. And there will be a ‘quicktails’ menu of drinks for £5, such as the Move Like Jaeger drink, with Jaeger, ginger beer and OJ.

At the heart of the ‘accessible street food’ menu will be gourmet dogs – build-your-own hot dogs with locally-produced sausages and a choice of around 30 toppings and sauces.

There will be a range of fresh, healthy and vegan options too, like spiced mango salad.

Alex hopes the Hilt will be open in mid-June, or by early July at the latest.

After apologising for its noisy past, York pub gets to stay open

The York pub threatened with closure over repeated noise complaints can celebrate today – albeit quietly.

The Clockhouse in Acomb has won a reprieve from councillors.

City of York Council wanted to withdraw the licence from the Kingsway West pub after a number of reports from residents about music – including occasions when noise patrol officers heard Sweet Caroline and Come On Eileen being played at an “unreasonable level” after 11pm.

A report says council officers were repeatedly called to the Clockhouse over complaints about loud music during 2017 and 2018.

But landlord Paul Harris says the venue’s DJ has now been moved to another room and he will install a noise limiter system at the premises.

‘Belittled the licence’

The bar at the Clockhouse
Mr Harris and his company were fined nearly £5,000 in January after being convicted for running a pub that is too noisy.

Since then, a further complaint about noise and anti-social behaviour has been received.

Speaking at the meeting, council solicitor Victoria Waudby said Mr Harris had “belittled” the licence conditions and has “had his chance”.

She added: “The conditions proposed will require more work.”

Christopher Grunert, representing Mr Harris, said the pub hosts a lot of events that run without complaint from neighbours, adding:

  • There were several breaches of conditions over several years that I’m sure cause concern for the committee.

    We apologies unreservedly for those. I appreciate we have work to do in instilling confidence. It’s a very popular premises, independently run in York. Mr Harris has run this pub for 13 years.

The meeting heard that the pub is a “community hub” with darts and pool teams as well as a number of other societies. It has about 12 members of staff.

The committee asked for a noise limiter to be installed and said doors and windows should be shut after 10pm.

Historic York building to reopen – and they’re filling it with gin!

One of York’s most iconic buildings is being brought back to life for the summer.

York Gin are opening a pop-up shop in Sir Thomas Herbert’s House on Pavement. The shop is best known as Jones the Bootmaker which closed several years ago.

The company have been working with building owners the York Conservation Trust for the last few weeks to bring the shop back to life.

They’re busy putting the finishing touches to the shop and are hoping to open its doors in the next few days.

Bursting with excitement

Street history
York Gin director Pete McNicol said he was speaking to the trust about something completely different when they told him about Herbert House.

  • Suddenly I had a vision for York Gin to fill it. And literally six weeks later we’re opening our pop-up.

    It has meant a huge amount of work but the trust have been amazingly supportive. We’re bursting with excitement about opening our doors in such a beautiful building.

As well as the company’s four gins – its classic London Dry, Roman Fruit, Cocoa and Navy Strength Outlaw – the company will be selling high quality merchandise including fridge magnets, key rings, bottle openers, tea towels, a small range of clothing and other Yorkshire gins.

A spokesman for York Conservation Trust said: “Herbert House is a remarkable building with a wonderful history and York Gin is a great local company with a bright future.”

After the summer, the trust plans to completely renovate the building that dates back to the 16th Century. So York Gin will have to find a new home in the autumn.

History of Herbert House

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Depending on which account you read, Sir Thomas Herbert was either born in the house or in adjacent Lady Peckitt’s Yard in 1606. It was his family home – great grandfather Christopher Herbert had lived here when he was Lord Mayor in 1573.

Sir Thomas was a great friend to Charles I, and his strong supporter during the Civil War. The banqueting room at Herbert House may have been the place where members of Charles’s retinue were entertained during the royal visit to the city in 1633, and the king himself on a second visit in 1639.

Even when the royalist cause was irrefutably lost, Sir Thomas remained steadfastly loyal. He accompanied Charles to his execution on January 30, 1649, at Whitehall in London.

So as not to shiver in the cold – and so appear fearful of his fate – the king asked for two shirts.

As Sir Thomas was responsible for Charles’ wardrobe, it is believed that he supplied them.

How it used to look: Herbert House when it was Wilson’s Drapers in the early 1900s. Photograph © Explore York Libraries and Archives

‘The strangest pub in York’ could lose its licence

The council wants to withdraw a popular pub’s licence after neighbours complained about alleged noise and anti social behaviour.

The Clockhouse, formerly The Acomb, on Kingsway West could have its licence taken away after council officers said they were repeatedly called to the premises over complaints about loud music during 2017 and 2018.

A report prepared for a meeting on Monday (8 March) says City of York Council’s public protection team want the venue’s licence revoked.

A member of the noise patrol team who was called out to a resident’s home on one occasion said:

  • The music continued to be audible throughout and at 11.09pm it was possible to very clearly hear Sweet Caroline by Neil Diamond blaring out out at a level which would undoubtedly disturb sleep.

Fined £5K

One of the Clockhouse murals
With its walls covered with murals of pop stars, pool room, and function rooms the Clockhouse was described as ‘the strangest pub in York’ on TripAdvisor.

Council documents say the landlord and his company were fined nearly £5,000 in January after being convicted for running a pub that is too noisy.

The report adds that, since then a further complaint about noise and anti social behaviour has been received.

But the landlord told licensing officers that the pub’s DJ never plays music particularly loud and that a customer had wedged open the pub’s door on a warm and busy evening.

He added:

  • If the door hadn’t been open I’m sure it wouldn’t have been a problem.

    There’s been a noise complaint from somebody but obviously there’s other people that there hasn’t been a noise complaint from.

He also said some of the licensing conditions, requiring all doors and windows to be shut at 10.30pm, were difficult to comply with.

Hourly patrols

The bar at the Clockhouse
Public protection officers asked that, if the pub’s licence is not withdrawn, further conditions are imposed, including installing an alarm system to alert staff when doors are left open.

They have also requested that employees carry out hourly patrols between 10pm and closing time to make sure it is not too noisy.

There is no objection from police within the report.

The licensing committee will consider the review at a meeting at West Offices on Monday at 10am.

Popular York restaurant to shut this week

A city centre restaurant will close for good in two days’ time.

Gourmet Burger Kitchen on Lendal, York, shuts its doors on Wednesday (3 April) at 3pm.

The restaurant has been there since 2007. But earlier this year the chain got into difficulties.

Owned by South African-based Famous Brands, GBK entered in to a Company Voluntary Arrangement (CVA) in December – a mechanism which helps insolvent companies stay trading.

It then closed 24 restaurants around the country. But in a statement last month, Famous Brands said sales were increasing, raising hopes that no more branches would be shut.

Sudden decision

Goodbye GBK
A worker at the York restaurant said she wasn’t allowed to comment about the closure, and referred YorkMix to the company’s head office.

But a press spokeswoman for the company told us that GBK was refusing to comment.

The decision to close the Lendal restaurant was taken quite suddenly. GBK York had signed up to be part of York Restaurant Week, which began today (1 April) only to withdraw just days ago.

It has mixed reviews on TripAdvisor, with an average rating of 3.5 out of 5.

Some praised its “great burgers” while others criticised the service and atmosphere.

The burger chain has struggled recently
It will leave a big gap on Lendal

The closure of GBK York will leave a big gap on Lendal. It means the nearest branch of the burger joint will be in Sheffield.

While a number of shops have closed in York city centre in recent months, the bar and restaurant sector has been growing.

Fiesta Latina on on Clifford Street shut last November when the premises was sold for flats.

But more eateries are in the pipeline – York’s first cat café is due to open soon, following hard on the heels of vegan outlet Once Across The Garden on Church Street.

York Restaurant Week is upon us – and here are six tasty late additions

Get your tastebuds ready – the very first York Restaurant Week is here.

A celebration of York’s fabulous food and drink scene, the week runs from Mon 1 April to Sun 7 April.

Loads of great venues are taking part, from street food outlets to indie eateries to the big chains.

All are offering special menus – either at £10, £15, or £20 per person.

Since we first revealed all about the week, more venues have come on board.

Below are the six late additions hungry to take part.

How it works

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Head to the York Restaurant Week website to explore the delicious variety of offers priced at £10, £15 and £20 per person.
Simply choose the one you want, enter your details and your voucher will be emailed to you directly.
It’s as simple as that!

The late entries

Technology is barred! Phones, laptops and iPads banned by York pubs

If you use your phone in certain York pubs be careful – you might be barred!

Memos have been sent to city publicans detailing the latest eccentric policy introduced by the Samuel Smith Brewery in Tadcaster, which owns 300 pubs.

The memo has been leaked to YorkMix. Dated 25 March it is from 73-year-old brewery owner Humphrey Smith to all pub managers, and headlined Mobile Phones and other Transmission Equipment.

It makes clear that modern technology is not welcome:

  • The brewery’s policy is not to allow mobile phones, laptops or similar inside our pubs.

    If a customer receives a call then he or she should go outside to take it in the same way as is required with smoking.

    Whether outside or inside, tablets and iPads must be prohibited.

    Customers must not be allowed to receive transmitted pictures of sport or download music apps on the brewery’s premises, either inside or outside.

    The brewery’s policy is that our pubs are for social conversation person to person.

Eccentric policies

The memo from Samuel Smith’s owner to its pub managers

Among the pubs in York owned by Sam Smith’s are the York Arms on High Petergate, The Burns Hotel on Market Street, the King’s Arms by the river and the Wellington Inn on Alma Terrace.

The mobile phone ban is not the only unusual policy by the eccentric family firm.

Its pubs are not allowed to play music or have televisions, while there is also a zero tolerance on swearing.

And the brewery often closes pubs without notice. In April 2017 the Wellington was abruptly closed, before reopening with new tenants.

Meanwhile the Brigadier Gerard on Monkgate was shut a year ago, with rocks barricading the car park.

The pub is now looking for new managers.

Typically the brewery is refusing to comment on the its anti-technology policy.

York pub company plans new craft brewery

One of Yorkshire’s finest pub and beer companies is hoping to create a craft brewery close to York.

Pivovar wants to build the brewery at its premises on Station Yard, Elvington.

It already has brewing facilities at Sheffield and Leeds. But this would be different. Planning documents describe it as

  • a craft brewing company and test brewery – manufacturing ales and lagers, created using the traditional mashing techniques and the best available malted barley and hops.

New jobs

This is where the new brewery would go. Photograph: Planning documents
Pivovar began as a beer importer. And most of its lager production is brewed at a partner brewery in the Czech Republic which is then hauled to its Elvington facility.

More recently Pivovar invested in a nano test brewery within Spark:York on Piccadilly “so as to reduce its reliance on its Czech Brewery,” say planning documents.

“However it quickly became apparent that a bigger out of town facility was required.”

The brewery would create four new jobs and act as a training facility for the Pivovar brewing team in Sheffield and Leeds.

It would supply the company’s pubs, including Pivni, the York Tap, Pavement Vaults and Market Cat in York.

More than 60 fabulous foodie offers: Details of the first York Restaurant Week revealed

Get ready to loosen your waistbands – the first York Restaurant Week is going to be seven days to savour.

From waffles and coffee to three-course spreads, from street food to hotel dining, the week features more than 60 special offers.

Around 40 of York’s excellent eateries are serving up special fixed price menus from £10 to £20.

Organised by York Business Improvement District (York BID), York Restaurant Week runs from April 1-7 2019 and aims to encourage York residents to try out different eateries in the city centre.

And it’s a great chance for locals to experience more of a city that national food critic Giles Coren described as “the capital of the food universe”.

How it works

Card image cap

Head to the York Restaurant Week website to explore the delicious variety of offers priced at £10, £15 and £20 per person.
Simply choose the one you want, enter your details and your voucher will be emailed to you directly.
It’s as simple as that!
Sample offers

  • 2 Waffles & 2 Hot Drinks £10 – Cut & Chase, Goodramgate
  • 3 tapas for £10 – Ambiente Tapas Fossgate
  • Set 3 courses menu for £15 – Mr P’s Curious Tavern, Low Petergate
  • Brunch for 2 including coffee or juice for £15 – Source Deli, Jubbergate
  • Grand Afternoon Tea for £20 – The Grand Hotel, Station Rise
  • Full Rodizio £20 – Vaqueiros Brazilian Rodizio, Micklegate

Try something new

Chris Bush of York BID previews York Restaurant Week 2019
The week was set up to drive footfall into some of the city centre’s finest dining establishments during a quieter time of year.

The initiative is being spearheaded by the BID’s business support executive, Chris Bush, who said:

  • We know that York’s city centre has real peaks and troughs throughout the tourism calendar, but the quieter times are fantastic for those living in York and the surrounding towns and villages to make best use of the city centre – and that includes enjoying the hospitality and food provided by a plethora of restaurants.

    We all have our favourite restaurants to which we return time and time again, so this is a great way of trying something different – whether for a quick lunchtime bite, romantic dinner or a social occasion with friends.

With the Park & Ride services now running until late in the evening, Chris said “this is a great opportunity for those who work in the city to stay around a little longer and let someone else take the strain of cooking dinner before heading home”.

Set to be a big success

Ambiente Tapas, Goodramgate, York
Participating restaurants are hoping that diners will step outside of their traditional comfort zone and try something new during York Restaurant Week.

Tim Sinclair, director of Ambiente Tapas said:

  • We are really looking forward to the first Restaurant Week in York and appreciate the fantastic opportunity it gives us to introduce our offer to new customers.

    Having been involved with similar initiatives in Leeds we are confident that it will be a big success with York’s foodies.

To take advantage of the offers, diners register for the offer they would like at the York Restaurant Week website, where they can find details of all participating restaurants and fixed price menus.

York’s first cat café to open soon – here’s all you need to know

York’s first cat café is due to open next month.

One of the most eagerly awaited openings of the year, The Cat’s Whiskers will be housed in a three story, Grade II listed premises on Goodramgate.

Here people will spend time with about a dozen cat residents, perhaps having a cuppa and a slice of cake too.

It is the brainchild of Lily Cole, and she expects it to open in early to mid-April. She told YorkMix:

  • Cat cafés started in Japan. I visited ones in this country purely for pleasure.

    I thought one would be perfect for York. It’s the perfect city for one, with all the tourists, locals and students.

A haven of calm

The front of the soon-to-open Cat’s Whiskers Cat Café. Photograph: YorkMix
Lily has been looking for the right premises for more than three years.

It is quite a change of direction for her, as she has worked in the North Yorkshire Police control room on Fulford Road for 13 years.

Lily wants The Cat’s Whiskers to be a haven where people can leave their stress behind:

  • We deal with a lot of mental health issues. The job, and the pressures of the job, have certainly affected me sometimes.

    I’ve always found a great comfort in having my cats at home. You can come home, relax and sit with a purring cat next to you.

    It’s all about relaxing, unwinding and that feeling of calmness.

    I’m aiming for a very calm and relaxing environment, very peaceful, and people can just spend time enjoying their company.

Their own room

Photograph: NON on Unpslash
There will be about 12 cats who will live in the building. They will have their own bedroom on the top floor, out-of-bounds to the public, where they can retreat “if they want some time out, or they’re not feeling particularly sociable one day”.

On the ground floor there will be a reception area, waiting room and shop selling cat-based merchandise. The cats won’t be able to come into this area to prevent them getting out and onto the road.

Behind that and on the floor above will be a large area where people can mingle with the cats.

It will cost £7 an hour to visit. People can also buy tea, coffee and cake, but there’s no obligation.

Lily plans a loyalty card for regular customers.

She intends to limit the number of visitors at anyone time, and no children under ten will be allowed.

“The cats’ welfare has to come first and children can sometimes be a bit disruptive and loud. They’re not always the best mix,” she said.

Rescue cats

Lily is working with the Cats Rescue And Welfare Trust at Escrick.

“Kate down there has been absolutely amazing, really supportive,” she said.

“I’m sourcing some of the cats from there, and others from other rescue places, cats that are just in needs of homes.”

They have to be suitable – indoor cats who are sociable by nature.

What about hygiene? Kate said:

  • I understand that people have concerns. I think the type of people who would be going to be going into a cat café, that’s not going to be their first priority.

    The kitchen is restricted and off limits to the cats, so there’s no risk of cross-contamination. There will be hand-gel sanitisers around for people to use, and really rigorous cleaning.

Three floors and a view of the Minster

The Cat’s Whiskers will close every Tuesday for a deep clean. Cake is to be sourced from an independent bakery in Pocklington, so no food will be prepared on the premises.

At the moment Lily is juggling preparing the café with undertaking 24-hour shifts at the force control room. How have her police colleagues reacted to her change of career?

“They’re all really supportive, they’ve been absolutely fantastic. I’ve been there 13 years, so I feel like it was time for a change.”

Not long now

Feline good about this cat café… Photograph: Eric Han on Unsplash
She is delighted to be joining the lively independent businesses on Goodramgate.

Cats will have the run of the building, which is a pretty special place.

“It’s got views of the Minster at the back,” Lily said. “It’s an absolutely stunning building in its own right.”

Her partner, mum, dad and twin sister are all helping with preparations.

Soon a new website will be launched where you can book your slot. In the meantime follow updates on the Facebook page.

And very soon you’ll be able to, in Lily’s words, “have a cake and a coffee while you’re sat cuddling a cat!”

New vegan café to open in York city centre

A popular street food trader is to open its first fixed café in York.

Once Across The Garden was one of the first traders to move into Spark:York, and is a popular fixture on Shambles Market.

And now it has cheered its many fans by taking on the former Wok & Go café on Church Street.

Plans are in with City of York Council to install the business’s distinctive carrot logo on the shop front, which will also boast the motto: ‘Vegan kitchen – street food and treats’.

Listed building

The cafe will open in this Church Street premises
Number 10 Church Street is a Grade II listed building.

The proposed new sign will add white lettering and logo to the already black frontage. In their plans, Once Across The Garden say: “The proposed signage will not cause any degradation to the character or setting of a listed building.

“The proposal will not look out of place or represent an inappropriate addition. The proposal is, therefore, acceptable in heritage terms.”

How the new sign will look

Once Across The Garden is known for both delicious street food and amazing cakes.

This ranges from veggie burgers and vegan sausage rolls to strawberry and rose oatcake and chocolate truffle torte.

As the owners put it:

  • We offer big flavours and delicious dishes, so whether you follow a vegan diet or not, we promise great, home made food, inspired by our favourite flavours from across the world.

There is no definite opening date to the new café as yet.

It means Church Street is becoming a haven for vegans. Humpit Hummus and Pita Bar arrived on the street last year.

New café to open at York Art Gallery

York Art Gallery has announced plans for its café.

As we reported in January Café No 8 pulled out of running the Exhibition Square venue, saying it was unviable.

Now the gallery has announced that the owners of a highly regarded restaurant and café in Helmsley will take over.

Sketch at York Art Gallery is the latest venture by Maria Rodriguez and Philip Veal who established Origin in 2017 to rave reviews.

World food

Some of Origin’s cakes. Photograph: Facebook
The café will serve a range of freshly prepared hot and cold options inspired by Maria’s Spanish roots and also chef Philip Veal’s love of Asian food experienced growing up in Birmingham.

The café will open daily from Saturday April 6, from 10am to 5pm.

Maria said:

  • We are thrilled to be opening an exciting new venture at York Art Gallery.

    Our aim is to be inspired by the art on show and create a menu that excites and delights.

    We will showcase local suppliers and artists and provide a relaxed and diverse space for locals and visitors to enjoy great food and great art.

“Maria and Philip have created a fantastic restaurant in Helmsley serving a carefully selected range of fresh flavours and ideas,” said Richard Saward, head of visitor experience at York Museums Trust.

“Combined with their friendly manner and infectious enthusiasm we believe they will bring something unique to the city that will work really well here at the gallery.”

As well as Origin in Helmsley, the team already have a presence in York, providing event catering at the De Grey Rooms. They have also previously created Pop Up cafes at various locations.

Five reasons to take a cookery class

Do you find yourself repeatedly cooking the same dishes? Or perhaps you want to uncover a hidden talent? Maybe you want to experience something new?

Whether you’re a complete beginner or a budding chef, cookery classes can have many benefits for children and adults alike.

Cooking classes tend to range from evening sessions through to half day, full day and sometimes even week-long courses, that aim to provide you with food for thought and hands on experience in food preparation, presentation and appreciation.

Classes can specialise in specific skills, such as fish filleting or cake decorating, and others cater to international cuisines and set menus.

While everyone is likely to have their own reasons for booking onto a cooking class, there’s a benefit for everyone.

1. Improve your culinary skills

Head tutor Andrew Dixon at the Cookery School at The Grand
Whether you’re a complete beginner, known to burn pasta, or a novice looking to further improve your cooking skills, enrolling on a cooking class will provide you instruction on how to cook and you will improve your abilities. You’ll learn new skills while adding to your own personal recipe repertoire

2. Learn a new cuisine

Learning something new
When cooking at home, it is common to stick to what you know in the kitchen. Attending a cookery school provides a nice opportunity to learn dishes from international cuisines that you may not have known where to start or have been brave enough to attempt previously. You’ll leave the course with new and interesting dishes to vary up your cooking at home!

3. Discover how to present your dishes

Jenga chips!
Presentation is key. It’s easy to slop food on your plate when eating at home, but taking care, time and attention to present dishes in interesting and sometimes intricate ways will give you a new-found appreciation for your food.

Cookery schools can teach you techniques, tips and tricks for presenting dishes; it can even be as simple as chip Jenga! Not only will it feel immensely satisfying, your kitchen creations will be mouth-wateringly Instagram-worthy, and you’ll have friends queuing at your door for a dinner date.

4. Increase your kitchen confidence

You’re in expert hands
Forget your past relationship with the kitchen, attending a class in cooking will guide you to becoming a better cook and the hands-on practice and experience gained will help to promote self-esteem; a key ingredient of successful people.

5. Host a dinner party

The dining area at the Cookery School at the Grand
There is no better way to show off new found skills than at a dinner party! Perhaps you’ve wanted to host for a while but are afraid of serving sub-standard food, or worse, giving your guests food poisoning?!

Whether you’re hosting a Christmas dinner or are planning a get together with friends, a cookery class will be able to set you on the right path. Food tastes better when prepared with love, and your guests will be so proud of all of your efforts.

Find out more

Card image cap

If you’ve decided a cookery class is for you, York cookery school at The Grand offers a range of 43 classes, from express evening classes and parent and child sessions, to half day and full day options.
Whether you want to master an international cuisine, specialise in a dinner party menu, learn how create the perfect pastry or would like an introduction to foraging, there is a course to suit everyone’s taste!

York CAMRA names its Pub Of The Year 2019

A pub that was left derelict for years has been named Pub Of The Year 2019 by York CAMRA.

The Mended Drum in the village of Huby, ten miles north of York city centre, has taken the prestigious award – to the delight of managers Ricki and Lisa Brown.

Ricki told YorkMix:

  • We’re thrilled. It’s a massive thing for us – it’s not yet sunk in.

    We’ve been in the top six for the last three years and to win, is a fantastic achievement.

Beer festivals

A huge range of changing beers at the Drum
When they took over four years ago, the husband and wife team were determined that the Mended Drum would offer far more than a traditional pub.

As well as craft and keg ales, the Drum focuses on more unusual beers, such as American styles, customised beers, first releases and one-off brews.

Ricki and Lisa have built up strong relationships with local brewers and host several beer festivals across the year, including the upcoming May Day festival which starts on 3 May.

The York CAMRA Pub of the Year

Drum Fest, a beer and music festival, is held every August bank holiday, showcasing at least 18 local beers and music talent from the area.

“It’s been really popular with people,” Ricki said. “They want to come out and try all the different beers.”

Focal point

Ricki and Lisa
This is Ricki and Lisa’s first pub, and it’s not just the drinks that they have changed.

They’ve also brought in an experimental kitchen to supplement the regular menu.

Produce is sourced locally, with regular steak night offers, seasonal choices such as game, and vegan options.

CAMRA were particularly impressed with the pub’s warm and welcoming atmosphere and strong community ethos. The Mended Drum raises money for local causes and is a meeting point for many village groups.

The presentation of the award will take place at the Mended Drum on 20 July by York CAMRA chairman Christopher Tregellis.

Ricki was in retail and Lisa in fashion before they chose to go into the licensing trade. “It’s a lot of work, but it’s not a job it’s a lifestle,” Ricki said.

Revealed: The latest restaurant moving in to York Stadium

Another restaurant has signed up to the York Stadium complex.

Zizzi will open in a unit next to the cinema entrance at the Monks Cross development.

If all goes to plan the Italian chain will be given access to the 3,221 sq ft unit in September. The fit-out would take several weeks, with a planned opening around November.

The Azzurri Group which owns Zizzi already has strong connections to York.

It runs the Ask Italian restaurant inside the Assembly Rooms on Blake Street as well as a city centre Zizzi on Lendal.

Appeal of the site

Inside Zizzi on Lendal, York
Zizzi is the second restaurant to sign up to the stadium complex. YorkMix revealed in January 2018 that TGI Fridays was taking a corner unit.

There are five restaurant units in the complex, with three remaining to be let.

Wrenbridge Sport, the development partner in the York Stadium project, is in talks with interested parties about those three.

This corner will house the IMAX cinema when the York Stadium is finished. Photograph: YorkMix

“The fact that we have done a deal with a mainstream operator confirms the appeal of the site,” Wrenbridge director Ewen McLeod told YorkMix.

Zizzi’s planned opening hours at the stadium are 9am-12.30am Monday to Saturday, and 10am to 10.30pm on Sundays.

Hollywood Bowl to move in

York is getting a Hollywood Bowl bowling centre
In January we revealed that the Hollywood Bowl Group has signed a deal to open a 24-lane bowling centre and an indoor mini golf centre at the Huntington complex.

The Hollywood Bowl team hope to move into the complex in May to begin fitting out their 46,000 sq ft space.

It will take them about six months to prepare the venue, which also features an American diner.

That would see it open around November which is when the 13 screen IMAX cinema is due to open too.

Pancake power! York’s finest go flipping crazy at Bedern Hall

Stars of York’s foodie sector lined up today for the legendary city pancake race.

Bedern Hall director Roger Lee organised the event and Minster FM’s Cat Soave fired the starting gun (ie shouted ‘go’). Then the finely honed athletes set off like so many batter-wielding Usain Bolts.

Armed only with a frying pan they hurtled past the 14th century hall on Bartle Garth desperate for the glory of victory.

There were some thrilling moments as they went into the hairpin bend, flipping like nobody’s business. Sadly one or two pancakes fell to the ground in the ruckus.

In the end though it was Rafi’s Spicebox who claimed victory. Then everyone went inside for a post-race post-mortem, and a cuppa.

Same time next year?

York has a brand new tour – and it’s all about gin!

Is there a better way to spend a couple of hours than walking around York, stopping for the occasional G&T?

The Bloody York Gin Tour

  • Various
  • York city centre
  • £35, including 3 different single York Gin & tonics
  • More details

If that sounds your, er, cup of tea then good news – The Bloody York Gin Tour launches today (Friday, 1 March).

The tour is led by award-winning guide ‘Mad Alice’ and is a blood-curdling, history-filled, walking and gin-drinking tour, mixing horrible history and restorative York Gins at three bars along the route.

It follows the stories of the city’s outlaws including Guy Fawkes, Dick Turpin and ‘The Yorkshire Witch’, Mary Bateman.

York Gin director Emma Godivala said:

  • With all the horror stories, you’ll need a regular revitalising York Gin.

    Thousands of people love Mad Alice’s Bloody Tour of York – they’ll love this new adult-only tour even more as it has York Gin stops on top!

New superstrength gin

Outlaw and tonic anybody?
The first tour comes a year to the day since the launch of York Gin – and they are also celebrating the birthday with a super-strength version.

York Gin Outlaw tips the scales at a whopping 57% ABV.

Director Pete McNichol said:

  • Our motto is ‘History in the tasting’ – and at 57% ABV, York Gin Outlaw pushes the boundaries – rather like the city’s historic villains.

    Stronger flavours; higher alcohol – you’ll need to enjoy it with care, tonic and ice.

The new Outlaw gin is a traditional overproof or Navy Strength gin – named after the test used by officers from the early 1700s to see if the gin on board their ships had been illegally diluted.

Britain’s second-best burgers to come to York in new restaurant

If you are a burger fan, we have some news to give you that Friday Feeling.

Burgsy’s in Whitby serves up the second-best burgers in Britain – and it is about to open a restaurant in York.

The Burgsy’s burger house is moving in to Castlegate, and hopes to open in April.

This American-themed venue, which prides itself on its local quality meat and homemade sauces, was voted by Tripadvisor last year as the second best UK burger joint.

Marta and her husband Patryk in the Whitby restaurant
Burgsy’s began when Marta Gemra, 33, and her husband Patryk, 34, opened a burger van on a Whitby industrial estate in 2014.

Word got around about how tasty they were and soon people from all over the seaside town were queuing up to taste the burgers.

Burgsy’s was opened on Grape Lane in 2015. And now they are bringing their winning flavours to the city.

The Whitby Burgsy’s

And the Castlegate premises which will become the York version

Marta said:

  • We have had a wonderful three years running the restaurant here but the premises only houses 18 seats and we wanted to expand.

    Whitby is brilliant for custom in the summer and we are extremely grateful for the time we have spent here, but we felt that we needed to work in a city if we were to move forward.

    We have visited York many times together and fell in love with the city, and think we have found the ideal spot.

    Many people came from York to eat our burgers in Whitby so we knew there was a market here.

Local jobs

Anyone hungry?
They are looking to employ local people in the York restaurant.

“Me and Patryk spend most our time in the kitchen and we are hoping to expand our menu, adding in some more starters and a full bar, so we will need front of house and kitchen staff,” Marta said.

“From the very beginning, our mission has been to serve simple food – well. We prepare everything from scratch, hand-make our burgers, cook our own sauces, and use local ingredients that are fresh and of great quality.

“We love using local suppliers when creating our food and drink, so we are on the lookout for finding local producers in and around York.”