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.