AUSTRALIAN-style café culture will soon be galloping into an iconic York suburb.

Sydney-born Mark Edwards and his York-born wife Laura have won planning approval to make changes to a former kitchen showroom at 147 Bishopthorpe Road.

Since 2018, the couple have successfully ran the Dark Horse Espresso Bar on Shambles Market, but now they plan a café with wine, and at times, live music.

Plans need approval not for the new business, but rather the outside changes such as new decking outside, new planter boxes and two windows being replaced with grey bi-fold doors.

However, following concerns about noise, an air conditioning unit and flue to the rear have been removed from the plans, along with painting the shop front brickwork to shopfront and erecting a dwarf wall.


A report by City of York Council planning staff says ten letters of objection were sent to the council, focussing on noise issues, anti-social behaviour, a lack of parking, plus the venture’s impact on other businesses and house prices.

However, the planners noted the planning application was only needed for changes to the outside area, such as seating and decking.

They concluded the proposals would not harm the appearance of the premises or the wider street scene. Conditions within the premises licence will adequately control the impact on amenity, they added.