Bar and café plan for former Army & Navy Store premises in Fossgate

York Press: The old Army & Navy Store premises at the top of Fossgate, York The old Army & Navy Store premises at the top of Fossgate, York

ONE of the biggest empty shops in York city centre looks set to be turned into a bar and café.

Council planners have approved proposals to convert the old Army & Navy Stores at the top of Fossgate, which closed last summer after 93 years.

Businesswoman Rachel Greaves, of Cleethorpes, said she wants to cater for groups such as “professionals, thirty-somethings, older families and beer connoisseurs”.

In a letter to the council, she said: “The business will not be aimed at the youth market but will be an organic café and bar with speciality beers.

The emphasis will be to create a relaxed atmosphere where people will generally be served alcohol at tables.”

She stressed she was not looking to open a traditional pub or nightclub-style bar, and said she did not envisage noise problems.

There will be a small retail area on the ground floor, mainly for bottled beers, and the rest of the ground and first floors will be for food and drink. The second floor and attic will be for storage.

Ms Greaves’s planning agent has told the council that the venue will close at midnight, rather than 3am as first suggested, and said only background music would be played.

The application to change the use of the building has been approved by a council planning committee but Ms Greaves still requires listed building consent before she can alter the building significantly, said committee vice-chairman Coun Ian Gillies.

The changing nature of the beer market in recent years has seen increased demand for non-traditional venues, leading to a proliferation of continental-style cafés and more modern pubs such as The House Of The Trembling Madness in Stonegate in York and The Attic above Café Harlequin in King’s Square.

Guildhall planning panel had objected to the latest application, saying York could not afford to lose more city-centre retail space and plans for further coffee houses and restaurants should be discouraged.

Ms Greaves said in her application that it would create five full-time and seven part-time jobs.

Comments (17)

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8:27am Tue 19 Feb 13

MrsHoney says...

Sounds great to me, I know my husband will be a frequent visitor being a real ale fan. I hadn't realised the shop had closed actually, does seem a shame but perhaps that sort of thing just isn't called for these days. I know when I was a teenager it was very fashionable to shop there. (But that was quite a few years ago - lol).
I know some people might not be happy that York is turning into a big food court but if people aren't shopping then at least it keeps the local economy going. I look forward to it opening.
Sounds great to me, I know my husband will be a frequent visitor being a real ale fan. I hadn't realised the shop had closed actually, does seem a shame but perhaps that sort of thing just isn't called for these days. I know when I was a teenager it was very fashionable to shop there. (But that was quite a few years ago - lol). I know some people might not be happy that York is turning into a big food court but if people aren't shopping then at least it keeps the local economy going. I look forward to it opening. MrsHoney
  • Score: 0

8:32am Tue 19 Feb 13

GooseTrackLane says...

the only sort of shop we could have expected was another Poundland-type retailer, so this sounds great to me.
the only sort of shop we could have expected was another Poundland-type retailer, so this sounds great to me. GooseTrackLane
  • Score: 0

8:57am Tue 19 Feb 13

Capt. Dobie says...

GooseTrackLane wrote:
the only sort of shop we could have expected was another Poundland-type retailer, so this sounds great to me.
...OR another charity shop...

Can't believe it's gone, but it's yet another 'Retail Headstone' because if the changing consumer market. Realistically, what else you could you turn it into? Not a prime location like Parliament or Coney St, so you wouldn't get a big name store in there.

I still wince when I see the converted Scott's the Butchers...
[quote][p][bold]GooseTrackLane[/bold] wrote: the only sort of shop we could have expected was another Poundland-type retailer, so this sounds great to me.[/p][/quote]...OR another charity shop... Can't believe it's gone, but it's yet another 'Retail Headstone' because if the changing consumer market. Realistically, what else you could you turn it into? Not a prime location like Parliament or Coney St, so you wouldn't get a big name store in there. I still wince when I see the converted Scott's the Butchers... Capt. Dobie
  • Score: 0

9:12am Tue 19 Feb 13

Woody G Mellor says...

If its all that they make out it is going to be, then I will be a regular!

Ps.
I would rather see cafes, charity shops, restaurants and bars than empty 'retail' space.
If its all that they make out it is going to be, then I will be a regular! Ps. I would rather see cafes, charity shops, restaurants and bars than empty 'retail' space. Woody G Mellor
  • Score: 1

9:34am Tue 19 Feb 13

bob the builder says...

....do the planners still have their heads in the spit and sawdust of medieval York? - what retailer will come to a narrow premise, in a similarly narrow street with poor footfall and access? If you can't fill larger shops with big names,what chance do you have with niche premises, and the survival of a small business in the economic climate even if they are willing to take the risk, if they can get finance.
....do the planners still have their heads in the spit and sawdust of medieval York? - what retailer will come to a narrow premise, in a similarly narrow street with poor footfall and access? If you can't fill larger shops with big names,what chance do you have with niche premises, and the survival of a small business in the economic climate even if they are willing to take the risk, if they can get finance. bob the builder
  • Score: 0

10:00am Tue 19 Feb 13

Ignatius Lumpopo says...

The ideal bar/café to change the Army & Navy Stores into has to the NAAFI, surely?

And how will attracting 'beer connoisseurs' affect trade in the Blue Bell next door?
The ideal bar/café to change the Army & Navy Stores into has to the NAAFI, surely? And how will attracting 'beer connoisseurs' affect trade in the Blue Bell next door? Ignatius Lumpopo
  • Score: 0

10:01am Tue 19 Feb 13

Ignatius Lumpopo says...

The ideal bar/café to change the Army & Navy Stores into has to be the NAAFI, surely?

And how will attracting 'beer connoisseurs' affect trade in the Blue Bell next door?
The ideal bar/café to change the Army & Navy Stores into has to be the NAAFI, surely? And how will attracting 'beer connoisseurs' affect trade in the Blue Bell next door? Ignatius Lumpopo
  • Score: 0

10:04am Tue 19 Feb 13

Woody G Mellor says...

Ignatius Lumpopo wrote:
The ideal bar/café to change the Army & Navy Stores into has to be the NAAFI, surely?

And how will attracting 'beer connoisseurs' affect trade in the Blue Bell next door?
Don't understand the first line of your post.

As for the second. Surely it will benifit the Bell due to bringing more real ale drinkers into the area who enjoy the relaxed atmosphere.
[quote][p][bold]Ignatius Lumpopo[/bold] wrote: The ideal bar/café to change the Army & Navy Stores into has to be the NAAFI, surely? And how will attracting 'beer connoisseurs' affect trade in the Blue Bell next door?[/p][/quote]Don't understand the first line of your post. As for the second. Surely it will benifit the Bell due to bringing more real ale drinkers into the area who enjoy the relaxed atmosphere. Woody G Mellor
  • Score: 0

10:15am Tue 19 Feb 13

NickPheas says...

Ignatius Lumpopo wrote:
The ideal bar/café to change the Army & Navy Stores into has to be the NAAFI, surely?

And how will attracting 'beer connoisseurs' affect trade in the Blue Bell next door?
Hopefully not too much. There have been plenty of times when the Blue Bell has been so crowded that they've been turning people away, so probably a neighbour in a similar space will just give them somewhere to send them.
[quote][p][bold]Ignatius Lumpopo[/bold] wrote: The ideal bar/café to change the Army & Navy Stores into has to be the NAAFI, surely? And how will attracting 'beer connoisseurs' affect trade in the Blue Bell next door?[/p][/quote]Hopefully not too much. There have been plenty of times when the Blue Bell has been so crowded that they've been turning people away, so probably a neighbour in a similar space will just give them somewhere to send them. NickPheas
  • Score: 0

10:29am Tue 19 Feb 13

metsaagain says...

seems a good idea to me- the shape of the building militates against its use as a shop (I love Army & Navy but it was v old school).It will also help to build up Walmgate as a niche area with a cluster of decent food / drink outlets
seems a good idea to me- the shape of the building militates against its use as a shop (I love Army & Navy but it was v old school).It will also help to build up Walmgate as a niche area with a cluster of decent food / drink outlets metsaagain
  • Score: 0

11:34am Tue 19 Feb 13

MrsHoney says...

I don't think the Blue Bell will suffer. Most times that I've been there it's been a case of walk in walk straight out because it was so busy. It means another point nearby on the real ale trail which may bring in extra customers and balance out any loss in trade.

A grown up place that isn't an awful winebar, sounds great to me.
I don't think the Blue Bell will suffer. Most times that I've been there it's been a case of walk in walk straight out because it was so busy. It means another point nearby on the real ale trail which may bring in extra customers and balance out any loss in trade. A grown up place that isn't an awful winebar, sounds great to me. MrsHoney
  • Score: 1

8:30pm Tue 19 Feb 13

working class tory says...

It would be great for Fossgate and would compliment Bakers and Mason's &c as well as the other restaurants on Walmgate.

As a regular of the Blue Bell, it seems that the other poster's on here don't understand what a wonderful place it is, and with a knowledge of this classic pub's clientele I can guarantee the proposed new venture next door would not affected it's business at all (though it might affect the landlords sleeping).
It would be great for Fossgate and would compliment Bakers and Mason's &c as well as the other restaurants on Walmgate. As a regular of the Blue Bell, it seems that the other poster's on here don't understand what a wonderful place it is, and with a knowledge of this classic pub's clientele I can guarantee the proposed new venture next door would not affected it's business at all (though it might affect the landlords sleeping). working class tory
  • Score: 0

10:53pm Tue 19 Feb 13

PKH says...

It's a shame the Army & Navy Stores closed, York needs independent shops. I had to go to Malton to buy wellingtons to fit me now they've gone.
It's a shame the Army & Navy Stores closed, York needs independent shops. I had to go to Malton to buy wellingtons to fit me now they've gone. PKH
  • Score: 0

3:02am Thu 21 Feb 13

Magicman! says...

Another eat-and-drinkery... oh yes of course, York has a real genuine shortage of places to eat and drink doesn't it?!

All that seems to open up now is either a 'clearance' store, pound store, charity shop, mobile phone shop, costa bomb, or some random eatery/drinkery.
Another eat-and-drinkery... oh yes of course, York has a real genuine shortage of places to eat and drink doesn't it?! All that seems to open up now is either a 'clearance' store, pound store, charity shop, mobile phone shop, costa bomb, or some random eatery/drinkery. Magicman!
  • Score: -1

3:42pm Thu 21 Feb 13

ChilliPepper87 says...

Magicman! wrote:
Another eat-and-drinkery... oh yes of course, York has a real genuine shortage of places to eat and drink doesn't it?!

All that seems to open up now is either a 'clearance' store, pound store, charity shop, mobile phone shop, costa bomb, or some random eatery/drinkery.
I think it's the high profit margins (very high) for alcohol that will allow these places to open. I think for the freehold it was more than 350,000 (it was on a businesses for sale website so not confidential info!).. so you need that profit to survive. Very difficult for an independent business to make that. Shame.
[quote][p][bold]Magicman![/bold] wrote: Another eat-and-drinkery... oh yes of course, York has a real genuine shortage of places to eat and drink doesn't it?! All that seems to open up now is either a 'clearance' store, pound store, charity shop, mobile phone shop, costa bomb, or some random eatery/drinkery.[/p][/quote]I think it's the high profit margins (very high) for alcohol that will allow these places to open. I think for the freehold it was more than 350,000 (it was on a businesses for sale website so not confidential info!).. so you need that profit to survive. Very difficult for an independent business to make that. Shame. ChilliPepper87
  • Score: 1

4:15pm Thu 21 Feb 13

Woody G Mellor says...

Magicman! wrote:
Another eat-and-drinkery... oh yes of course, York has a real genuine shortage of places to eat and drink doesn't it?!

All that seems to open up now is either a 'clearance' store, pound store, charity shop, mobile phone shop, costa bomb, or some random eatery/drinkery.
In today's climate most 'retail' premises are not financially viable.

Would you prefer to see it boarded up rather than being another clearance' store, pound store, charity shop, mobile phone shop, costa bomb, or some random eatery/drinkery?

Your ilk do York no favours.
[quote][p][bold]Magicman![/bold] wrote: Another eat-and-drinkery... oh yes of course, York has a real genuine shortage of places to eat and drink doesn't it?! All that seems to open up now is either a 'clearance' store, pound store, charity shop, mobile phone shop, costa bomb, or some random eatery/drinkery.[/p][/quote]In today's climate most 'retail' premises are not financially viable. Would you prefer to see it boarded up rather than being another clearance' store, pound store, charity shop, mobile phone shop, costa bomb, or some random eatery/drinkery? Your ilk do York no favours. Woody G Mellor
  • Score: 1

11:45am Sun 3 Mar 13

eeoodares says...

Magicman! wrote:
Another eat-and-drinkery... oh yes of course, York has a real genuine shortage of places to eat and drink doesn't it?!

All that seems to open up now is either a 'clearance' store, pound store, charity shop, mobile phone shop, costa bomb, or some random eatery/drinkery.
Be interesting to see you put your money where your mouth is. Why do you not buy it? £450000 for the freehold followed by a massive refit and then you can open your own retail business!
[quote][p][bold]Magicman![/bold] wrote: Another eat-and-drinkery... oh yes of course, York has a real genuine shortage of places to eat and drink doesn't it?! All that seems to open up now is either a 'clearance' store, pound store, charity shop, mobile phone shop, costa bomb, or some random eatery/drinkery.[/p][/quote]Be interesting to see you put your money where your mouth is. Why do you not buy it? £450000 for the freehold followed by a massive refit and then you can open your own retail business! eeoodares
  • Score: 1

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