A TOP restaurant devastated just weeks ago by fire will reopen on Friday but its kitchen will remain closed.

Five teams of firefighters were called to the The Star Inn The City in Museum Street, York, in the early hours of November 9, after flames broke out.

Matt Hunter, operations director at the restaurant, said the fire had left the kitchen without a roof, but work had been carried out in the weeks since the blaze to allow the venue to reopen.

York Press:

Damage inside the kitchen shows the temporary roof

Mr Hunter said the situation had been difficult, but staff and customers had been very understanding and he was pleased to be able to reopen today.

He said: “The amount of goodwill we have had is amazing. We have 70 staff and a responsibility to them as well, and they’re taking it as well as possible."

He said some staff were helping out at Mr P’s Curious Tavern, which is also owned by leading chef Andrew Pern.

“All our Christmas bookings have been moved to Mr P’s and we have put some of our bigger dishes on there. A few of our staff are taking holiday and we’ve tried to allocate every kind of request possible. We have bad a lot of really nice well wishing messages from everyone in the industry, everyone has been really supportive of us.”

York Press:

Matt Hunter behind the bar at The Star Inn The City

Although the kitchen will remain closed until after Christmas, visitors to The Star Inn The City will still be able to enjoy its surroundings.

As well as the new Yorkshire Tea-pi - offering Yorkshire Tea-themed drinks and beers outdoors, in a similar environment to Thor’s Tipi in Parliament Street, part of the venue will now include table service, to ensure staff who may have been reliant on kitchen jobs are still able to work.

York Press: The Star Inn The City

Mr Hunter, who has worked at The Star Inn The City for the five years it has been open, thanked staff and senior directors for their support.

He said: “This isn’t something you can plan for, psychologically, it’s been difficult but we’re making sure everyone has been alright.

“Personally, I've have had a lot of support from senior managers Mike Green and Andrew Pern, they’ve been really supportive towards me and the rest of the staff. That’s been really nice.”