An established York restauranteur is planning exotic belly dancers at his latest venture.

Wael Mikhaiel had planned to open a steak house in the city centre, but on hearing another was planned nearby, had a change of heart.

Now, the businessman, who is a director of three other city eateries, plans a Moroccan restaurant with belly dancers in the city centre.

Wael plans to have the new venture in the former Bells of York café at 8 Low Ousegate opening its doors in 3-4 months.

The 44-year-old told the Press: “I’m not doing the steak house. We found there were too many steak houses in the city, with one planned for the same street.

“We are going to have Moroccan food, with a chef coming from a 5-star hotel in Morrocco. We are also going to have belly dancing.”


Wael plans to spend almost £500,000 on renovating the empty two-storey Grade II-listed building, which dates back to 1810, subject to council approval, to make it more Moroccan in style.

“It has been damaged for a long time. We do everything correctly, get qualified people, we try our best.”

What he had earlier planned as Moo Moo Steakhouse is currently going through the process of applying for an alcohol licence for a “ground floor bar/ restaurant and a first floor restaurant”.

Under the application it would open from 10am to midnight every day.

Wael says he has started small businesses before. He is a director of three other restaurants. They are the highly-rated and popular Italian restaurants Silvanos and Enoteca by Luva in Bridge Street.

His third business is the Middle East Shawarma take-away in Lendal, offering Lebanese and Middle Eastern food, a TripAdvisor favourite, gaining a Travellers Choice Award in 2022.

Wael continued: “This is my time to make a big restaurant, offering something different, something new, with different food.”

“We will have quality food, fresh food. I am sure a lot of people will like it, especially in York.”

York has a variety of steakhouses, with their number due to be boosted by the arrival of The Rio Brazilian Steakhouse which will be opening up after summer in the former Piccolinos restaurant in nearby Bridge Street.


RateMyTakeaway reviews Middle Feast in Lendal, York

According to Tripadvisor, York does not have a Moroccan restaurant, or at least one with belly dancers.

However, the well-known food review website does mention Los Moros, named after ‘the Moors’ who lived in Spain.

The highly rated venture has premises in Shambles Market and Grape Lane, and is listed by TripAdvisor as offering Moroccan and North African food.