A RESTAURANT in the heart of York that has been run by the same family for 25 years - and even comes with its own ghost - is up for sale.

Christie and Co are advertising the leasehold of La Piazza at 45, Goodramgate at an asking price of £150,000.

The business has been owned and operated for 25 years by Emilio Comito and his family who are now looking to sell in order to enjoy their retirement. 

The late-medieval half-timbered Grade 1 listed building dates back to the late 15th or early 16th century.

It is owned by York Conservation Trust due to its age and history, which includes an intriguing tale of Yorkshire’s saddest ghost, Marmaduke Buckle, who lived in the property between 1697 and 1715.

Marmaduke was disabled, and after being accused of witchcraft, carved his name into the wall and the beam, and then hung himself from it. The carvings are still visible to this day and provide a unique selling point.

Simon Burbridge, business agent for Christie & Co said: “La Piazza presents a very exciting opportunity for new owners to either continue serving excellent genuine Italian food or take this fantastic city centre building and create something new and exciting along Goodramgate.

“This sort of building, coupled with its history, and success is sure to attract huge amounts of interest. We have seen a surge in the numbers of leasehold hospitality businesses being bought and sold in recent times and this should be no different.”

Inside the restaurant great oak timbers reach up to a dizzy height in the main dining room.

There is also another seating area upstairs, reached by a twisty timber staircase. Like the dining hall, it is full of old timber beams, and there is a deep-set window with what was possibly once a window seat looking out over Goodramgate.