A YORK woman whose sister died of cancer 10 years ago is set to open a new restaurant-bar on what would have been her birthday.

Charlie Hudson, 41, from York, is due to open Charlie's Pizzeria, a New York-style restaurant, as well as a roaring twenties evening bar called the Hi Ho club.

Both the venues are set to open in Feasegate, York, on May 12 - 10 years on from the death of her sister, Cerys, who lost her battle with cancer, aged 36, leaving behind two children.

Charlie, who attended Fulford School with her sister, has helped to bring up Cerys’ two children, Jack, 16, and Leah 14, with the help of her mother, Rhian.

She said that the venue will have a fun, welcoming and lively atmosphere – reflecting Cerys personality – and will open on the day that would have been her 47th birthday.

She added: “Cerys was five years older than me. Growing up we were close and loved going out together to eat and party.

“It has always been a dream of mine to open up my own place. Everyday life, work and commitment have gotten in the way but this venture is a dream come true and will also help provide a financial income to give the kids what they need, as they approach adulthood and university, and to hopefully help my mum who has looked after us all over the last decade.

“We are having a big family party at the venue the day before it opens, so I can enjoy this achievement with all my family and I know Cerys will be proud.”

Charlie added that after working for various brands, including Mitchell's and Butler, Revival and several music festivals - she created her own company, The Yorkshire Soul Bar and Kitchen.

Charlie said: “I originally wanted to use the name Yorkshire Soul Bar and Kitchen but once I saw the space, I thought it would be perfect for an American-Italian restaurant, that serves delicious flatbread and pizza.”

The restaurant will have breakfast, lunch, dinner and supper menus, that will run from 9am to midnight, with alcohol served from noon.

And the planning application, which was accepted by City of York Council in December 2019, states that customers will be able to find the Hi Ho club - a “backroom ‘secret’ bar and restaurant done in a speakeasy-style so you can experience the prohibition-style of food and drink”.

Charlie added the bar will also have a very twenties theme, with dark wood decor, an atmospheric feel and piano music playing throughout the night.

She said: “I am also working with a well-known cocktail maker, James Wreglesworth, to create the ultimate cocktail menu that will be exquisite and independent to regular and first-time customers.

“We will be hosting regular cocktail making lessons, pizza and pilates sessions as well as live music from some soon to be announced guests so there really is something for everyone.”

The Hi Ho bar is scheduled to be open from 2pm until midnight.

Charlie said that work will start on the bar and restaurant in the coming weeks and she is looking to employ staff to start in May.

To find out more about the venture, email Charlie on thehihoclub@gmail.com.