NORMALLY Nick Julius has ten people working in his bustling restaurant in the heart of York.

But now as we head into the third national lockdown, the chef is flying solo.

He is now operating a take-away 'dine at home' business, managing the orders, cooking dishes, and overseeing deliveries via a local taxi service - all by himself.

How is he coping with the pressure?

"It's fine!" he says. "I enjoy it."

Nick, who opened his restaurant 31 Castlegate - a stone's throw from Clifford's Tower - 15 years ago says he is determined to keep going and come through on the other side of the pandemic with the business intact.

York Press:

Nick Julius in the kitchen at 31 Castlegate in York

"My passion is for the restaurant. I have been here for 15 years. It's a like a child to me," he said.

Nick, who is single, admits living alone has allowed him to dedicated almost his every waking hour to the business.

The restaurant is open for take-away food (either for collection or by delivery) Tuesday to Sunday, with Monday being his only day off.

Nick says many restaurants are not offering food during the week and just focussing on Fridays and weekends, but he is determined to keep going.

"I am using social media to let people know - weekends are definitely the busiest but I always have things to do, and if I do get an order I only live 12 minutes away so can rush in and start cooking."

Everything is cooked fresh to order, says Nick, and the menu offers a range of starters, mains and desserts, with vegan options too.

Highlights include: Red onion tart with brie and rocket (£4); smoked haddock and salmon fishcake with sweet chilli dip (£4) and warm crispy pork tossed in sesame seeds and a light Asian salad (£4) for starters, with main courses including roast lamb rump with dauphinoise potatoes, spinach, lamb jus (£12.95); beer battered haddock and chips with tartar sauce and lemon (£8) and confit duck leg with dauphinoise potatoes and red wine jus (£10.95).

York Press:

Fish and chips from the 'dine at home' menu

The dessert menu features apple and sultana crumble; chocolate brownie with warm chocolate sauce, and sticky toffee pudding with butterscotch sauce - all at £3.

A range of kids meals are available too including crispy chicken fillets with chips, battered haddock with chips, and penne pasta with meatballs and tomato sauce - at at £4.

He is also offering Sunday lunch to go, beef or pork with all the trimmings for £11.95.

READ MORE: 7 great places in York to get take-out during lockdown 3

York Press:

Nick is offering Sunday lunch take-out too

Vegan dishes include vegan fish cake with pickled samphire and tartare sauce, made with chickpea, spring onion and seaweed, which can also be gluten free, for £4, and vegan mains of a falafel 'burger' for £8, and vegan Paella with artichokes, red peppers, courgettes, seitan, seaweed and samphire at £9. Vegan desserts are also on offer.

Operating hours are: For delivery or pickup from 12pm til 7pm Tuesday-Saturday; 12pm til 6pm Sunday. York Car taxis deliver the food for a delivery charge of £3 within the inner ring road.

Orders can be made via the website: