A NEW restaurant is throwing open its doors in York city centre.

Nola will bring a taste of French-influenced New Orleans food when it welcomes guests from Monday.

Fehim Kaya and Daniel Broom are behind the venture in the former Rustique in Lendal which has been completely refurbished and created 35 jobs.

York Press: Nola is opening in Lendal, in the former Rustique restaurant.

The business partners, who also run Rustique in Castlegate, hope to win over Nola diners with their diverse choice of small dishes, with guests encouraged to try two or three plates.

"Castlegate [Rustique] is quite a big restaurant, especially with us expanding upstairs, and we felt we could accommodate our guests there rather than split into two places," said Fehim.

York Press:

"Lendal was a very successful restaurant. We didn't close because it was quiet. We changed it because we just wanted to try something new.

"We know French food; we wanted to do something different rather than classical French food."

Signature dishes include grilled oysters, monkfish cheeks, gumbo, pork belly, grilled Teriyaki salmon skewers, and other crowd-pleasers from around the globe.

"We have a good choice of meat and fish dishes," said Fehim "You can have a burger or grilled oysters. It's a relaxed environment. They are all one size - smaller than main course, but bigger than starters."

York Press:

He said Nola had a new team of 35 staff and praised the management team for their recruitment success as hospitality faces a staff shortage.

"I think people want to work for the company," said Fehim. "We are still run under the Rustique name and it gives people confidence."

He added: "The plan is, once a week to do a jazz, blues and soul downstairs - there's a purpose-built stage - if there's demand for it. It will be background, easy-listening music."

Fehim is confident about the future of hospitality in York. "It is a great time to open. We can't just stop. We need to try. The moment the pandemic is over I think we will see a real result."

York Press: