The owners of a new restaurant set to open in York city centre say it will not be a live music venue – but neighbours fear the plans will lead to “droves of drunk and unruly people falling all over the street”.
The former Cafe Rouge in Low Petergate has been taken over by small chain Jimmy’s, which has branches in Liverpool and Manchester.
Brothers George and Jimmy Craig, originally from Helmsley, are planning to open a third branch in York, which they say will be a “welcoming” restaurant only.
A spokesperson says the business will serve food and drinks until 11pm Sunday to Thursday and until midnight on Fridays and Saturdays.
But a licensing hearing is due to take place on Monday after neighbours raised concerns about the venue.
The licensing application includes asking for permission to serve alcohol from 10am to midnight Sunday to Thursday and 1am Friday and Saturday.
Permission is also sought for live music within the same hours – but the owners insist Jimmy’s will not be a live music venue and there is no space for music to be performed shown on the floor plan.
Concerned about property values
Neighbours have submitted worried letters to the council about the plans.
One says: “Having witnessed the pressure on the local area late at night with droves of drunk and unruly people falling all over the street, causing a disturbance and making a racket, it is a wonder how the police will cope with that problem being spread even further from its current spots.
“The thought of hoards of drinkers piling out at midnight […] makes me shudder.”
Another says: “We welcome the addition of a new business to York, and would support a venue that is predominantly a restaurant, with a closing time of around 11pm and minimal noise.”
Another adds: “We are concerned about the impact the proposed licence would have on the value of our property.
“The view along Low Petergate towards York Minster is one of the most photographed in York, it is a quintessential York Street. Bouncers and groups of drinkers will severely impact the traditional feel of the area.”
Up to 100 diners
The council’s public protection team say Jimmy’s has agreed to conditions – including closing the outside area at 11pm and drawing up a noise management plan – but they had yet to confirm the wording of any conditions.
The council’s letter to the licensing team says: “As it stands the applicants have offered some conditions which are welcomed but have not demonstrated that the building can adequately prevent noise from live and recorded music breaking out of the premises and causing a public nuisance.”
A spokesperson for Jimmy’s said it will be a restaurant only and that it is wrong to assume there will be live music.
They said the restaurant will have room for up to 100 diners and a courtyard dining area for up to 30 customers. It is set to create 30 jobs and could open in April for outdoor dining.
The licensing meeting takes place on Monday at 11am. You can watch it live on the City of York Council YouTube page.