A popular York coffee shop wants to start serving alcohol from 10am to 11pm everyday.

Nicholas West, who bought the Bison Coffee Bar on Heslington Road this summer, has applied to City of York Council for such a premises licence.

He also plans to stage entertainment, including poetry reading and comedy.

However, a neighbour fears the lateness of his plans will turn the venue into an “out-and-bar.”


The Bison Coffee Bar first opened in 2012 and consists of two downstairs rooms and one upstairs room. There is also outside seating at the front and a patio area at the back.

In his application for a premises licence, Mr West said he wanted to “create a friendly atmosphere by demonstrating good conduct and core values at all times.”

He also sought to ensure the Bison “is a safe space for all customers, and they feel comfortable at all times.”

Measures would also be taken to ensure public safety, the prevention of public nuisance and ensure the protection of children.

North Yorkshire Police originally opposed the application but have mediated with Mr West who has agreed to further measures sought by the police, leading them to withdraw their opposition.

They include: “The premises shall operate predominantly as a coffee shop and not as a vertical drinking establishment.”

However, a nearby resident still objects, mainly on the grounds of public nuisance and prevention of crime.

They opposed the lateness of the licence, saying the café would then be “potentially out of character for the locality.”

They added: “It raises a very worrying concern that the terms of the license allow Bison, now or at some point in the future, to become an out-and-out bar, something I strongly believe would not only be out of character for the area but a significant impediment to my peaceful enjoyment of my home.”

The application will be considered at a licensing hearing next Thursday, November 2.