Another attempt to turn York shop, empty for 10 years, into a restaurant

How the building might look as a restaurant. Image: Planning documents

A city centre shop that has lain empty for nearly 10 years could be turned into a restaurant.

A planning application has been submitted for the store on Coppergate next to the Three Tuns pub to be turned into a café – but no business has come forward to take over the unit yet.

The unit at 10 Coppergate – formerly a branch of That’s Entertainment shop before it closed down in 2015 – could be revived as a restaurant or cafe.

A report from the applicants, MTK Holdings Ltd, says:

  • Despite continued marketing since 2009, this prominent shop unit with its wide frontage, has lain vacant now for ten years, except for a brief six month letting in early 2015.

    This situation is clearly detrimental to the vitality and viability of Coppergate.

    These efforts have continued to the present day without successfully identifying a new occupant.

    However, the shop has recently been refurbished internally, and it is hoped that this initiative will help in attracting a new occupant.

Open till midnight

Number 10 Coppergate has been empty since That’s Entertainment closed
Documents say in the past the building has been a Sofa Workshop, a Cycle Republic (Halfords) and most recently That’s Entertainment – which was only open for six months.

Although drawings submitted with the application show the shop refurbished as ‘The Coppergate Lounge’, no one has actually come forward to take over the building and the report adds:

  • As no end user for the premises has been identified, the internal layout indicated in the application is necessarily a generic one, any future restaurant operator would most likely wish to adapt the interior to suit their own requirements, and this may or may not require a future planning application.

It says the intention is for it to become a restaurant, open until midnight.

The report also outlines challenges faced by businesses on Coppergate – saying four of the 21 units on the road are empty.

Low footfall

The Choice Select shop on Coppergate. Photograph: YorkMix
It adds that efforts have been made to find a new shop to move into the unit but with no success.

And the former Rymans stationery store has been empty for several years now.

In December 2018 the city’s last tobacconists, Choice Select, a few doors down on Coppergate, shut its doors for good.

At the time owner John Terry said his business had fallen victim to relatively low footfall on the street compared to neighbouring High Ousegate, as well as other factors including declining rates of smoking, soaring taxation, rising restrictions and business rates.

In May, the former Choice Select shop was granted planning permission by the council to become a café.