CANTEEN food will be on the menu at a smart York restaurant in a landmark location to mark its first anniversary.

The Old Liquor Store (OLS) in a building next to the iconic clocktower of the former Terry’s chocolate factory is planning to mark its first birthday with two tasty events

The OLS, which is set in an historic Grade II listed former Terry’s building, is gearing up for anniversary celebrations following its opening in July 2023.

To mark the milestone, the restaurant is staging a 'factory workers' special' on Thursday, June 27 involving a six-course tasting menu themed around classic British canteen food with a modern twist – in a nod to the venue’s manufacturing heritage.

Exterior of The Old Liquor Store. Image suppliedExterior of The Old Liquor Store. Image supplied

Head chef Matt Leivers has devised a series of nostalgic dishes designed to conjure memories of old.

The line-up includes:

• "Pack up" - truffle cheddar and OLS pickle toastie, cider soused crab apple, cheese 'n' onion scratchings

• “Brew and biccie” – Earl grey smoked duck consommé, liver parfait and sour cherry jammy dodger

• "Fish supper" - brew York beer battered cod cheek with mushy peas, butter chicken curry sauce, salt and vinegar chips

• "Pie 'n' mash" - minced beef and barolo braised oxtail pie, caramelised onion gravy, brown butter mash

• "Terrys Chocolate Orange" - milk chocolate delice, Cointreau

• "Steamed sponge with pink custard" - Limoncello steamed sponge, Makins strawberry.

Tickets are priced at £70 per person with an optional drinks pairing at an additional £30. Booking is recommended.

Entertainment will be provided by the popular York pianist, Karl Mullen, who has a versatile repertoire spanning hundreds of songs from classical to rock-pop, jazz and blues. Since 1999, Karl has been a familiar sight locally and can frequently be heard playing his upright piano by York Minster and around the city’s streets.

Plans are also afoot for a summer party on Saturday July 20, which will likely feature a selection of great British BBQ staples as well as live entertainment.

Bosses say that since its entry to the foodie scene in York following a £350,000 refurbishment project, the restaurant has garnered a loyal following with locals and is fast becoming the ‘go to’ place for relaxed, fine dining.

The Italian-influenced restaurant, café, wine bar and deli, offers a mix of contemporary small plates and sharing platters as well as breakfast, lunch, dinner and Sunday roasts.

One of the dishes from the OLS kitchen in YorkOne of the dishes from the OLS kitchen in York

At the helm of the OLS is hospitality veteran Ben Williams who started his career in prison service hospitality on a graduate training scheme devising operational procedure manuals for prisoner food and shopping. Having acquired the Rose and Crown in Sutton-on-the-Forest at the age of 21, he transformed the business into a fine dining gastro pub, achieving an accolade from Michelin and two AA Rosettes, before relocating to London then returning to his home city.

Ben said: “The restaurant was more than two years in the making, but I’m thrilled with what we’ve achieved so far. It’s been an honour to bring back to life such an iconic building which lends itself perfectly to providing an inviting backdrop where people can relax and enjoy fine food. We’re looking forward to welcoming guests to our anniversary events where they will be able to experience a little bit of history and taste modernity here at the new Old Liquor Store.”

The kitchen is headed by renowned local chef Matt Leivers who has over ten-years’ experience in some of the UK’s finest Michelin-accredited restaurants. His focus is on using Yorkshire produce to create Italian-inspired cuisine, a modern take on classic tapas and sharing plates. The menu changes regularly and Matt’s signature dessert of Terry-misu - a nod to the former chocolate factory - features on the menu for special occasions so will be making a reappearance during the celebrations.

The Old Liquor Store sits between York Racecourse and Bishopthorpe Road and the name pays homage to its confectionery heritage.

Located in what was originally the Transformer House, it’s widely believed that this was subsequently used to house coffee beans and barrels of rum imported from America for chocolate making, with the rum being added to the truffles in Terry’s All Gold boxes.

Following a sympathetic refit, the property remains steeped in history, providing an atmospheric dining experience.

Working with designer, Banjo Beale (winner of the BBC1 series Interior Design Masters in 2022) the building has been restored and repurposed to ensure the décor maintains most of the building’s architectural features and reflects its manufacturing and confectionary legacy.

The original tiling has been retained and walls are adorned with photographs and memorabilia donated by former Terry’s Chocolate Factory employees.

The dog-friendly restaurant is open Wednesday to Saturday, serving brunch, lunch and evening meals (10am -9pm) and Sunday 12-4pm for roasts.

The Old Liquor Store runs monthly tasting events. Group bookings for pre-race brunch and post-race dinner can also be made.

Reservations can be made by visiting