ONE of York’s best known Italian restaurateurs is returning to the city to open another restaurant - just 300 yards from where he opened his first city centre restaurant some 37 years ago.

Silvano Scanu is creating a new Silvano’s restaurant at the former Lime House in Goodramgate, which he says will open by Easter, employing 12 people.

He said he had arrived in York from his native Sardinia in 1976, working at one stage as head chef at the former Post House Hotel, and he opened his first York restaurant, called Birdcage, in 1981 in Bishopthorpe.

His first Silvano’s opened in Goodramgate in 1982 and continued there until he sold it in 1991. He then opened a new Silvano’s, in Cumberland Street, next to the Grand Opera House.


York Press:

The restaurant became an institution, a popular venue for office parties, birthday celebrations and fun nights out with friends, and many stars of stage and screen dined there, often after performing at the theatre next door.

Silvano said celebrity diners included Paul Daniels, Edward Fox and Ulrika Jonsson.

He sold it in 2008 and then ran a restaurant in Leeds city centre for three years before returning to York in 2012 to open another Silvano’s, in Micklegate, where it remained until he sold it in 2016.

Silvano told The Press in 2016 that he loved his job but he needed a break to ‘really look at myself and what’s going to make me happy.’

He said: “I’m a happy person, but I want a break - and I can always open another restaurant another time.

“I’ve spent 40 years in York, so I’m going to keep my house and just try and see something different. I don’t want to just walk away.”

Silvano said yesterday he subsequently worked for six months as sous chef at the new Carluccio’s restaurant in St Helen’s Square, and then as head chef at a bistro in Stamford Bridge where he was finishing shortly.

Now, at the age of 68, he had decided to open one last Silvano’s, even though his daughter thought he was ‘crazy’ and should be retiring. He said: “It will be different from the other Silvano’s. It will be smaller, with only 80 seats compared to 120 to 140. It’s a beautiful building, about 300 years old.”