A NEW restaurant is set to open this weekend in a hidden corner of York.

The old Macumba Cocktail Bar in Coffee Yard, off Stonegate, which claimed to be York’s oldest coffee shop and closed in 2018, will open to the public as the Printers Apprentice restaurant on Sunday(February 16).

Currently from the street there is little to give away what’s been going on behind the scenes, but owner Sean Wood and his team have been hard at work to bring the derelict building back to life as a restaurant.

Set over three floors - including a basement featuring a snug with the original coffee roasting ovens - the ground floor will be home to seating with a bar with stairs up to an open plan kitchen and dining area on the first floor.

Mr Wood said: “It’s a small, intimate restaurant and we’ve made a bit of a theatre of the kitchen so people can see their food being cooked.”

A lot of thought has gone in to the details with glass-topped tables showcasing original printer’s blocks and coffee beans and wall art including the red and black Printer’s Devil, who sits high up on thee wall at the Stonegate entrance to the yard.

Printer’s apprentices were called ‘devils’ as their skin was inevitably stained black by the ink used in printing and black was associated with the dark arts.

The listed building, next to Barley Hall, which was formerly known as Alley Cats, has quite a history to it as both a coffee shop and printers was home to Thomas Gent’s printing business from 1724-42.

Gent published his own History of York, in 1730 and during the Great Frost of 1739, he set up a press on the frozen River Ouse.

In 2018, as Macumba, the premises made the headlines when a former landlord ended up in court for breaching a noise abatement order.

The new restaurant plans to open from 10am-11pm daily.