YORK’S former Blue Bicycle restaurant is finally ready to reopen, more than three and a half years after being devastated by flooding.

But the landmark building next to the River Foss in Fossgate will have a new owner - and possibly a new name - following the retirement of its previous operators.

The building, which has undergone extensive and complex repairs on its lower floors, is available to let on a new lease, on a rent of about £57,500 per annum for street level and lower ground floor accommodation.

The award-winning restaurant, whose cellar was a ‘brothel of some repute’ at the turn of the 20th century, was one of dozens of businesses across York to be inundated in the Boxing Day floods of 2015.

Properties in streets such as Walmgate and Fossgate were particularly badly hit when the Foss Flood Barrier and Pumping Station - at the confluence of the Foss and the Ouse - was overwhelmed by the sheer volume of water coming down the Foss, following heavy rainfall.

Most other businesses re-opened within a year following repairs, but the Blue Bicycle was beset by serious structural problems and the dining area remained frozen in time, with Christmas decorations remaining stuck on the windows for years. Pontoons eventually had to be created in the Foss to allow for repairs to take place.

Andrew Hedley, of Blacks Property Consultants, which is handling the letting, said Fossgate had developed into the city’s best-known restaurant quarter, with the Blue Bicycle arguably enjoying pole position.

“The availability of such a well-known building and one having enjoyed such a good reputation over so many years cannot go unnoticed,” he added.