Fossgate is an amazing indie street that is full of little hidden gems, like Kiosk and Fossgate Social. This street is slowly working its way up, towards Walmgate, which is also starting to show some talent, old and new; here lies Brew York, a unique and brilliant brewery & tap room, who I’m joining forces with as we launch the new Brew York Beer Hall, which is where I’ll be opening Born To Lose Burger Kitchen.
Across the road is the Le Cochon Aveugle, another great add to the city. Down the road, a stones throw away, is the new Spark York, a container village based on Pop Brixton and others just like it popping up all over the country. Another front runner is the fantastic Skosh, based down Micklegate, these guys are taking York by storm with some truly amazing food, offering something really special. Which takes us on to the newest addition to York, as Tommy Banks has just opened up Roots, his new restaurant based on Marygate.
There is a great vibe at the moment among the indie people of York, they are getting out there and taking some risks and having a good go. Starting up Street Cleaver has been a huge learning curve, but the one thing that has been our main ethos throughout, in the food and also the general running of the business: No rules. Give everything your all. Passion, hard work, and punk rock approach of doing exactly what you want and what feels right for you. Challenge the norm, with excellence and passion. Be different.
York Unchained, something new.
The city of York is where I’ve chosen to spend my time for the last 4 years, and open up a business of my own. York is a city that is packed full of chain restaurants and bars, but as Bob Dylan said, the times are a changing.
There is, and always has been, an abundance of tourists to the city, so chains are needed, but the mass chain scene in York can be way too overpowering; that seems to be slowly decreasing as many are now closing down.
This opens up great opportunities to young professionals and risk takers, but there’s still one big challenge to overcome: high rents and rates! This isn’t stopping some, and people are starting to make a move, which is great to see; there’s a real buzz around, with new restaurants opening up and challenging the food scene with creativity and balls, ’cause it takes a lot of balls to take these huge risks and to stick by them. I myself have been running Street Cleaver for the last two years, and it has taken some big, big risks, some good, some not so good, but this will only make you stronger in the end!
Along with this comes other issues, as the main central shopping street is full of empty shops, and it will take something very special to change this for the better, as these are very big units, and take a lot to fill. The rents are always pushed up by the big player landlords, and this is now showing that having a city aimed mainly at tourists will only go so far… but fear not, as with every closure, an opportunity arises for something amazing and unique to pop up.