York pub reveals ambitious expansion plans – adding a micro-brewery, wine cave, deli and fishmonger

Under the plans, the Old Grey Mare will revamped complete with a wine cellar. Images: planning documents
20 Jul 2020 @ 6.09 pm
| Food & drink

A ‘run down’ York pub is aiming for a new lease of life – complete with its own brewery and fishmonger.

The Old Grey Mare on Clifton Green hopes to reinvent itself with the help of an outdoor restaurant space, micro-brewery, wine cave and shopping area.

Plans submitted to City of York Council say the ambitious changes would help the grade II listed former coaching inn survive and thrive in the future.

A fish counter in the planned deli

In planning documents, the unnamed prospective new owners state: “We love this inn.

“It is in a stunning location, and has an excellent local customer base, and being only ten minutes from the historic centre it’s attractive for visitors who want to explore York.

“We are locals too, and it’s such a shame that the Old Grey Mare appears to have fallen on hard times.

“It needs updating. Bringing it into the 21st century would be a challenge but if we offer the right mix of products and services that the community deserves, we are sure it will become a thriving business and once again complement Clifton Green.”

Outdoor dining

How the revitalised pub would look

The owners are seeking permission to:

  • install a covered pergola in the courtyard and increase access to the tables in the patio garden through two sets of bifold doors, to enable year-round outdoor dining
  • convert outbuildings and garages into a micro-brewery with wine cave and bar to support the sale of beers crafted at the inn, alongside specialist wines
  • install a glass atrium to the rear to provide hotel guests with a separate entrance directly from the car park
  • upgrade and add new toilets, including disabled and baby change toilets.
How the deli will look

They are also applying for a change of use so part of the public bar can be converted into a delicatessen selling local specialist produce with fishmonger stall.

The bar would be reconfigured to offer barista coffees as well as alcoholic drinks, and a pizza oven added to the indoor restaurant.

And the wine cave would offer “an additional range of specialist wines from a ‘cave’ and bar in the converted outbuilding”.

Historic inn

How the Old Grey Mare is now

The main public house dates back to the late 17th century. It has been a designated heritage asset since 1968.

There are currently ten rooms on the first and second floors.

It has been operated by the same family for the last 25 years, according to sale details.

Free of tie, it can offer a wide range of beers. There is also a franchised Indian restaurant, the Bombay Junction, which offers a takeaway service – it is not clear whether this would continue under the plans.

The ‘wine cave’

“Once at the heart of the village, unfortunately the inn has suffered since the turn of the century from a severe downturn in the licensed trade and it has not kept up to date with the changing habits of the modern customer who requires a varied range of complementary services, food and drink, as well as fresh produce from the modern inn,” documents state.

“It is envisaged that because of these changes the Old Grey Mare will be fit for modern purpose, supplying the services and produce that locals desire, and a place to socialise and dine, a destination to visit as the revitalised centrepiece of Clifton Green for many years to come.”

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