THE owners of a French restaurant chain will find out next week whether they can open a second branch in York.

Rustique, which opened its first restaurant in the city at a site in Castlegate in 2004, wants to open a new branch in the former York Antiques Centre in Lendal. The scheme will be debated at a City of York Council planning meeting on Thursday, January 10.

If approved, the restaurant would be housed in the basement of the listed building, which was formerly a chapel and dates back to the early 19th century, with a bar and seating area on the ground floor.

The applicants have said it would create ten full-time and five part-time jobs and be open from midday to midnight.

The proposals will be discussed by the council’s west and city-centre area planning sub-committee after Guildhall councillor Brian Watson aired concerns about retail space being lost in the centre of York.

Planning officials have recommended Rustique’s plans for approval.

In a report, council planner Fiona Mackay said the scheme would “secure a viable economic use” for a vacant part of the building and it would improve the “urban fabric and historic environment” of the city while also leading to new jobs.

Since opening, Rustique in Castlegate has been a finalist in Visit York’s Taste of York awards and travel website TripAdvisor rated it as one of the most talked-about restaurants in the UK in 2011.