A NEW Winter Garden restaurant on the banks of the river Ouse in York looks set to open in early December this year.

As The Press reported last month, The Waterfront Cafe at York Marina had plans passed by City of York Council to expand its restaurant with a large glass extension at the back of the building.

The Oakfield Group, who have a showroom at Harewood Bridge near Harrogate, has been brought in to carry out the work on the giant 38 metre by 5 metre metal and glass structure which is costing in the region of £500,000.

Director Mark Caulfield said: “The plan it to break ground on September 1 and then, because it’s near to the river, 12 metre piles need to be driven in to the ground for the foundations to go in before building work starts at the beginning of October.

“The extension goes right across the back of the building. It’s a big kit and forms a very complicated steel frame.

“It’s coming across from Germany and will probably need two large articulated lorries to get it to York.”

When completed the restaurant will cater for 130 covers and help meet growing demand.

Mark and his wife, Kasia, are also behind the recent dramatic transformation of The Old Grey Mare on Clifton Green which reopened at Easter after a total refurbishment and now has it’s own deli and wine cave on site.

York Marina, was bought by Phil and Pam Beakley in 2006, who say they are ‘excited’ that the plan has got the go ahead.

Their son, Richard, who is the general manager at The Waterfront, said: "We've had three big gazebos out the back for eight or nine years now, but when it came to out-of-season dining we lost that outside space, which has the best aspect, looking out over the river.

"We have always wanted a permanent structure out there an with the pandemic it's accelerated our plans somewhat.

"We have gone all out with it and are spending in the region of £500,000 so it'll have the highest specification of everything.

"We're really looking forward to it.

"When it's finished it'll be the cherry on the cake."

Alongside the new restaurant the family will be investing in internal alterations to the existing building adjacent to the restaurant, installing a second kitchen, and bar, with cold store.

The river front will also be landscaped with steps to a lower patio area to complete the project.

The whole facility will also provide a level access for disabled guests and make the running of the outside dining area much more efficient from a service point of view, as well as providing an amazing view of the river, wildfowl, and surrounding countryside.