Three new cafés brew up fresh look for popular York street

A taste of things to come… Rae & Webb on Gillygate. Photographs: Maddie Drury
18 Sep 2016 @ 6.21 pm
| Food & Drink

Gillygate has gained some new faces over the summer, bidding farewell to some familiar favourites while delivering some new foodie options on the well-loved street.

We caught up with the owners to find out what they have in store for us…

Perky Peacock becomes Rae & Webb

Rae & Webb featuring Heathcliffe the stag in the window
Rae & Webb featuring Heathcliffe the stag in the window

Gillygate’s Perky Peacock has taken a final bow, leaving the mother ship on Lendal Bridge to continue serving up its specialities.

Rae & Webb take its place at 74 Gillygate. It is owned by Simon and Barbara Haddock, so where does its name come from? “The name comes from both my Dad’s side of the family, where in Scotland they used to run a bakery between 1908 snd 1969 called Rae’s Bakery,” a post on the Facebook page explains.

“And the Webb is from my husband’s side. We thought if it was Haddock and Haddock people may think it is a fish and chip shop!”

Serving Origin coffee, it chalks up many caffeine inspired thoughts, including: “Procaffeinating (n.): The tendency to not start anything until you’ve had a cup of coffee.”

How did the change come about?

Barbara: It came about because Nicki Peacock decided she wanted to sell this place to do something else within York, she’s still got Lendal Bridge Perky Peacock at the moment. I thought it was the perfect size for me to come into the hospitality industry in York.

What are your future plans?

We are just seeing at the moment what our customers like and what they don’t like, and go from there. With the help of Tim, he was here at the Perky Peacock when it was open, and we’re going to slowly bring in changes over the next six months.

Nicola Peacock told us that the time felt right to relinquish her Gillygate shop.

“After almost four years with two shops – and now we have our own bakery too – I decided I wanted to do something a bit bigger and something that was more than just a coffee shop. That propelled me to move from Gillygate to look for something bigger and a little different.”

So new ventures are ahead? “I’m planning on new adventures for a short while, and then new ventures. I want to take time to find the right thing in the right place.”

Café 68 becomes Osbornes

One word: yum.
One word: yum.

Having moved up from London husband and wife team Simon and Vivienne Osborne have safely settled into what was Café 68 for six years.

They have been running it under the new name Osbornes for about six weeks. Maintaining Café 68’s pride of fresh food sourced locally, the lunch menu includes sandwiches, salads and burgers. Homemade cake is a permanent fixture.

Meanwhile Café 68 continues to dish up fine food at both York Castle Museum and Cycle Heaven in Fulford.

Have you made many changes at the café?

Vivienne: It needed a little bit of a refurbishment, which we’ve done – we’ve redecorated throughout. The only thing we haven’t managed to do yet are the toilets, and they’re phase 2 of the refurbishment!

We’ve changed the menu slightly; we’re not doing as many changes of specials, so we’re having specials now on the menu for at least a week, which means that now when someone comes in and sees a special they like or they can’t choose between two, they do then have the opportunity of coming back and trying it again.

Any future plans?

We are hoping eventually to open a couple of evenings. What we’re planning to do is kind of like themed evenings so we’ll have maybe different beers that go with food, because a lot of people expect wine to go with food rather than beer, but beers actually go very well with food, so we’re hoping to do that as well.

Tarts and Titbits becomes Bakes & Co

The Bakes & Co team. Photograph: Facebook
The Bakes & Co team. Photograph: Facebook

Formerly popular deli Tarts and Titbits, this Gillygate gem has been rebranded as Bakes & Co, expanding its focus to a coffee bar, artisan sandwiches and homemade cakes.

Owned by Rob Torney and Liz Bakes – a great name for a café owner – they run it alongside Liz’s son Oscar. They knew Tarts & Titbits from when they first moved to York about five years ago, liked it – and when it came up for sale, bought it.

What direction are you taking the café in?

Oscar: We’re keeping the deli side on, so we’ll be a delicatessen, so we’ll be doing sandwiches for takeout and then we will also have a café, and we’ll be doing artisan coffees, homemade tray bakes, slices, salads, quiches to eat in, pizza, things like that, so it’ll be a light menu focusing on coffee and cake.

Do you think these changes are good for the street?

It should be good for the street because there has been Love Cheese, Rae and Webb…I think it does need a bit of an injection of life to Gillygate and hopefully we can do that as well.