Get in touch: send your photos, videos, news & views by texting YORK to 80360 or send an email»
New city-centre restaurant faces battle over licence
A TOP new restaurant planned for York is facing licensing challenges from the owners of historic homes, a water safety charity and museum bosses.
The Star Inn The City, run by award-winning chef Andrew Pern, will open this autumn following the conversion of the Engine House building next to the River Ouse, Lendal Bridge and the Museum Gardens – but faces a battle today over its operating plans.
Mr Pern, who runs the renowned Star Inn at Harome, wants the new business to stay open until 1.30am from Monday to Thursday and until 2am from Friday to Sunday, but there have been a number of objections.
The application will be considered at a City of York Council licensing hearing today. The authority’s environmental protection unit believes the restaurant should close earlier to avoid noise complaints from nearby residents, who have also objected.
The North Riding branch of the Inland Waterways Association said allowing alcohol sales until 1am on weekdays and 1.30am at weekends could be “a recipe for more tragedies”, following a number of deaths in the Ouse in recent years.
York Museums Trust said it welcomed the restaurant’s arrival but its late closing time could cause “public nuisance” which may be blamed on its own nearby venue, the Hospitium, harming its reputation. It said the venues should have the same opening hours.
Elizabeth MacDonald, the council’s environmental protection officer, said the restaurant’s owners agreed to several licence conditions, but not her view that 11pm should be the cut-off point for music indoors and the garden terrace dining area being used, nor that music should not be played outside.
She said planning permission restricted the opening hours to midnight.
An email from Mike Green, a partner in the restaurant business, said playing music inside and outside and using the garden terrace until midnight would be in line with the planning application.
He said signs would ask customers to respect neighbours, and the business has said it will operate CCTV and liaise closely with Museum Gardens security staff.
Ian Berg, who owns the neighbouring Lendal Tower, said granting the Star Inn The City’s application could make it “a magnet for the drunk and disorderly” and said other local pubs and restaurants had earlier closing times.
He said he was worried about a lack of barriers along the riverbank.
Simon Webb, of nearby Whistler House, said he feared the restaurant would also be “a bar and entertainment venue” and said riverside residents were already suffering “continuous noise and drunken behaviour”.