A FLOOD-hit York cafe has finally reopened more than 18 months after being inundated by rising water.

Family-run Dyls on Skeldergate Bridge suffered badly during the December 2015 floods, and although the owners soldiered on trading from the terrace last summer, this weekend has seen the cafe reopen for good.

Owner Jan Dyl said that after a long hard road, and a lot of work to upgrade and “flood proof” the historic building, it was fantastic and felt like a huge relief to welcome customers back into the business.

Jan said they had already had some plans for the building before December 2015, but the floods alone would have taken them six to seven months to recover from.

They faced several delays in the rebuild and renovation project, and although they reopened on the terrace last summer, since October work has been entirely focused on the re-launch.

With barely any insurance, Jan said the business has taken a major hit from the floods but luckily received a flood recovery grant which match-funded their own investment.

The cafe now boasts much more inside seating - with a maximum capacity of 35 instead of the previous 12. “It’s a completely different place.”

Much of the work has gone into flood proofing the historic Motor House building on Skeldergate Bridge which houses Dyls.

“We have basically tanked the whole of our downstairs - the bar and the kitchen area - which have flooded previously.”

A special lining has gone into the floor and walls to stop water getting in, Jan added, as well as hidden pumps to make sure any water that does try to get in can be pushed back out into the river.

They have also followed the example of York’s flood-prone Kings Arms pub by ensuring all the materials used inside are waterproof and can be easily washed clean.

“It’s like a swimming pool,” Jan said.

The first customers were welcomed back on Friday afternoon, andA reopening party this Friday will have live music and tapas as well as full bar service.