A MEDIEVAL hall in the heart of York is to get a new lease of life after city officials backed plans to turn it into a beer café.

Ian Loftus, who runs the Evil Eye and The Bottle Store in Stonegate, says work to convert the former Beams Tearooms was starting this week, and should be complete within the next two months.

The 12th-century hall above the store will be turned into a café called House Of The Trembling Madness, taken from Delirium Tremens, a popular Belgian beer. It will sell a range of beers and quirky food dishes involving beer, such as cheese and beer soup and beer bread.

Mr Loftus said: “It’s a small venue that will be filled with antique benches and tables. Many of the walls will show the history of beer – things that many people just don’t know, including some history on Ninkasi, the Goddess of Beer.

“The food will be a strange collection of beer snacks – pickled beer sausages and beer cheeses along with some homemade ale pies. I’m hoping to experiment and produce some great new local foods.”

He said the hall dated back to 1180 and said the aim would be to make visitors feel like they were going back in time when they entered.

There was also likely to be a microbrewery on site to produce home-made beer.