Inside York’s newest café bar – featuring cocktails, sour beer, and late-night tea

9 Oct 2019 @ 6.59 pm
| Food & drink

York’s newest café bar has opened – serving all sorts of tasty morsels until late into the night.

North South is on Bootham, in the premises formerly occupied by Belle’s Bouffe.

It is now owned by York couple Laura Wood and Rich Taylor, who opened it this week after a lightning fast turnaround. They only got the keys on 17 September but have transformed it into a light, modern and relaxed new place to drink and dine.

So why North South? “We’ve lived in York for around three and a half years,” said Rich.

“It’s called North South because Laura is from the North near Sunderland, and I’m from down South near Cambridge.”

Laura added: “North South is basically what we’ve always liked when we’ve gone to other places.

“So we thought let’s create somewhere that we would love to go to, and hopefully everybody else will too. We want to be relaxed and friendly place.”

Chill out

A place to chill
The couple hope that the café bar will appeal to all ages. Rich said:

  • The concept is like a café but then we have a little bit more to us.

    We wanted to make the drinks better so we’ve got draught beer on, a good wine selection plus we’ve got great coffee and sandwiches. We’ve got a charcuterie, meat slicer, cheeses, all sorts.

    We’re definitely not looking to be a rowdy bar, we’re a café bar. That’s what we want, somewhere that we would go to chill out, sit by the window, have a sharing board and watch the world go by.

It’s open from 11am-11pm daily. And they will be serving food till closing.

“Coffee shops always close early but not everybody drinks so where do you go if you don’t drink?” Laura asked.

“If you go to a bar and you’re having a coffee everyone thinks why aren’t you drinking? So we’re more of a mixture, and it’s always been something we’ve thought to do. So here you can have a cup of tea at 10.30 at night if you want one.”

Cocktails and cheeses

A tasty new offering for York
The North South menu includes bar snacks like pork scratchings (£2), sandwiches from £6, and salads from £7.

There are sweet treats too, like brownies

There are also deli platters. Laura’s favourite dish on the menu is “the North South board, it’s a mixture of cheese, meat, bread, there’s all sorts on there”. It costs £18.

“Everything is hand picked, we’ve gone for good quality – that’s probably our selling point. Nothing we’ve got here is by any means the cheapest thing we could buy, we’re all about quality.”

Haxby Bakehouse supply the bread, the “awesome pies” come from Wilson’s in Huntington, plus “a great vegan pie from York Pie Company”.

What about their favourite North South drinks? “The Negroni is particularly good,” says Laura.

“I like the Cosmobellini that we’ve got from Brew York at the moment, it’s a sour beer,” Rich adds.

They say they’ve already had a friendly reception, and are looking forward to running their dream business.

“This something we’ve always wanted to do as a couple and we’re just really excited about it.”