A large new attraction which made its debut in York last Christmas is not returning.
The Winter Hutte, the two storey pop-up bar and restaurant which dominated Parliament Street for two months last winter, is not coming back this year, YorkMix has learned.
Said to be styled on a Swiss chalet, the Winter Hutte was a collaboration between Coopers Marquees, CMJ Events and Star Inn The City chef Andrew Pern. It replaced the Thor’s Tipi at the Piccadilly end of the street.
It had a bar downstairs serving gluhwein and spiced cider, draught beers from city favourite Brew York, and cocktails.
Upstairs a restaurant run by the Michelin-starred chef Andrew offered a ‘Swiss-with-a-Twist’ dining experience.
The bespoke-designed Winter Hutte had been expected to return this Christmas. And the website still carries this message:
“Thank you to all who came to support our inaugural year and we look forward to welcoming you back next festive season!”
However, Make It York, which runs the St Nicholas Fair and Christmas market, denied one source’s suggestion that the Winter Hutte had a five-year contract. Without such a contract, Make It York were free “to explore options for this space for the benefit of the event, residents and businesses”, a spokesperson said.
The spokesperson wouldn’t say why they had taken the decision to not bring back the Hutte.
“Unfortunately we aren’t able to discuss contractual agreements, but we are pleased to be working closely with businesses and organisations within the city to create an exciting plan for Christmas 2023,” they said.
YorkMix understands that there were licensing issues with the Hutte and that licensing officers had concerns that the official capacity was being breached.
Make It York invited tenders for a replacement for the Winter Hutte in May. The deadline for submissions was 19 May, with the contract due to be awarded a month later and the contract to be signed “on or before 30 June”.
The tender said: “Make it York is looking for an attraction/offer that will be a family friendly offering, which may include food and drink or something unique that York has not seen before…
“We are looking for an organisation that can deliver a sustainable bespoke, unique offer, which supports York’s ambition to present a Christmas experience which is accessible to all and tailored to York.
“The proposal should offer a real wow factor to the market and provide an attractive and festive environment that is inclusive to all and this must be demonstrated in any proposal received.
“The area we are considering is the Parliament Street Event Area with an initial footprint of 12m by 12m.”
The Make It York spokesperson told YorkMix: “We’re currently exploring our options and have gone to tender for businesses and organisations to apply for use of the space during the festive period.
“The famous alpine chalets will be returning to line Parliament Street and St Sampson’s Square, highlighting an array of local Yorkshire traders, and, as always, we’re looking at how we can engage with local residents and offer a family-friendly experience, creating a magical Christmas that everyone can enjoy.”
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