PLANS are afoot for a new city- centre café bar in York.

Landscape architect Sarah Lakin and her brother Michael plan to open a specialist beer and wine café in an empty shop at 25 Fossgate, formerly Chico’s Café opposite the entrance to the Merchant Adventurer’s Hall.

North Yorkshire Police initially raised objections to an application for an alcohol licence as they want City of York Council’s Cumulative Impact Zone (CIZ) to be extended to include Back Swinegate, Goodramgate and Fossgate, making it harder for new premises to get a licence or for existing venues to stay open longer.

They say alcohol-related trouble and thefts in the area had increased over the last three years and a consultation on the issue ends next month.

But Miss Lakin said an agreement had been reached with the police. She said her plan is to take a “continental approach” to serving drinks with different specialist beers and wines accompanied by cheeses, cakes or snacks and to convert the derelict yard at the back of the property into a garden with outdoor seating.

A spokeswoman for City of York Council said a planned licensing hearing due to take place on Friday had been cancelled because the police agreed a number of conditions with the applicant.

Miss Lakin said: “We are trying to look at it from a continental point of view with mix and match food and drink menus.

“We are wanting food to be available, it’s not going to be a drinking den.

“The design we have submitted will have glass doors at the rear going out in to the courtyard, opening up the space so that from the street you will be able to see straight through to outside.”

Miss Lakin said that ideally she would like to be open by the beginning of April. The licence was granted for the bar to serve alcohol from Monday to Saturday between 11am and 12.30am and on Sundays between 11am and midnight.