York café bar to close after being kicked out of its home: Owners feel ‘defeated’

The party's over… Photograph: Havana Cafe & Cocktail Bar on Facebook
26 Jun 2016 @ 6.38 pm
| Food & drink

When it opened last year, it was hailed as York’s new party bar and a possible successor to the Willow.

And the Havana Café and Cocktail Bar lived up to that reputation. Soon it became known as a family friendly daytime refuge, and a fun nightspot featuring a heady mix of party tunes and crazy cocktails.

Sadly though the party’s over, and all too soon.

Only seven months after it opened the Havana closes on Sunday night (June 26).

It is the latest venue to fall victim to the redevelopment of Stonebow House.

Going out with a bang, Havana are having a final party – with an open invite to everyone to drink the bar dry for special low prices.

‘Very sad to go’

The owners and brothers Savas, Ali and Alex Adiguzel, knew it was a gamble to set up their bar in Stonebow House but were swayed by the great price and hoped to be able to stay for a couple of years.

Unfortunately after six months they were told there would be no extension on the lease.

The brothers asked to stay for as long as possible and are now the last ones standing at Stonebow House, the Duchess and other companies having already left the building.

One of the brothers, Savas, said they were “very sad and disappointed to be leaving” and that their customers were also unhappy to see them go.

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It was the brothers’ first business. He said it took three and a half years of hard work and refurbishment to create Havana – and just as it began to find its feet their venue has been lost.

Savas said these final few months have made them feel “defeated”, knowing there is little point in making any improvements to their venue when they know they will soon have to depart.

For the brothers, all that was left to do was get as many customers through the door to enjoy Havana’s last few months.

‘Gutted! It’s brilliant’

Dismayed customers gave their reaction on Facebook. “It’s a brilliant venue with awesome staff & cocktails. You will be missed,” said Laura Porritt.

Sarah Wilkinson wrote: “Gutted! It’s brilliant in there!”

There are no plans to relocate Havana in new premises at the moment. The brothers will be taking a break from business.

They plan to work somewhere else in the hopes to save money and try again in the future.

The team thanked their “fantastic customers”, saying: “We couldn’t have done it without you.”

All that remains is for one last mad night to see off this bar in style.