For many years, it was one of York’s favourite sandwich shops.
But what was Krusties on Patrick Pool is now undergoing a magical transformation.
A casualty of the pandemic, which saw most of its customers either locked down or working from home, Krusties closed for good a year ago.
Owner Camelia Andrei was planning to sell up and move on. But as the owner of a Harry Potter themed AirBnB room, the Harry Potterzzz Mansion, she had always harboured the thought of doing something similar with Krusties.
Then a chance conversation over a baked potato set the ball rolling.
Property developer Vincent Roberts was busy expanding Valhalla – the Viking themed-bar next door, which he co-owns.
He and Camelia got talking as he bought his regular lunchtime jacket spud, and they decided to team up and transform Krusties into a magical place to stay.
They persuaded the owners to sell the Grade II listed building to them, and soon it will reopen – as the Hocus Pocus Hotel.
Work is now well underway. This has already uncovered some long-hidden original fireplaces and other features inside the 17th century building – and these will be restored and incorporated into the finished design.
Creaking doors, ambient music in the communal areas, and even special smells will all add to the atmosphere.
Because of the age of the building, adding double glazing was ruled out. So special shutters, with acoustic barriers, will be added to help soundproof the rooms.
At the same time, the hotel will be packed with all modern luxuries. A state-of-the-art electronic key system will allow guests to unlock their rooms and check-in as soon as they arrive, via their phone.
Each of the five rooms is going to have a story of its own. They have been designed by Camelia and Vincent , inspired by Camelia’s passion for magic, with history buff Vincent bringing in his own authentic design ideas too.
“York is a magical place,” said Camelia, who has a long background in tourism and hospitality. “So this is the perfect location. We want to add something to the existing attractions here.”
She was also inspired by her homeland – the Transylvania region of Romania.
“All these magical things are aligning – and both Vinny and I want the same thing. We have very similar visions about this place.
“Guests are going to be in a different world.”
They hope to open the Hocus Pocus Hotel by June.
Three of the rooms are family sized, two are doubles, and all are en suite. “The property’s a bit bit bigger than it looks to be fair,” Vincent said.
Principium Magicae – What was the sandwich shop on the ground floor is being transformed into a ruined castle, complete with stone walls and exposed oak beams.
Itinerandum – This is your very own Victorian sleeper railway carriage, complete with a vaulted ceiling and bunk beds for the kids – plus a station-styled sitting room.
Sorceryum – this represents the mother witch’s room, complete with altar. Found on the first floor, it has great views to St Sampson’s Church across the street.
Libraryum – perfect for readers! One wall “will be filled with proper old books,” said Camelia. There’ll also be candles and an antique mirror.
Apothecary – right at the top of the house, this has the wow factor. “Inspired by old chemist and alchemist shops, you’ll be surrounded by potions, bottles and antique test tubes,” the website says.