A café in the heart of York that opened as part of a refurb costing more than £25m has closed just 17 months later.
And its closure is being blamed on a lack of customers.
The café at York Guildhall was a key part of the renovation of that historic building which reopened in 2022.
The final bill for the redevelopment, which also included office space and a renewed central hall, was £25.9m.
Its conversion, which included a glazed walkway leading to the café as well as a remodelled outside space for al fresco food and drink, won awards and acclaim.
The Guildhall Café opened in June 2022. Like the rest of the complex, apart from the riverside restaurant, it was run by the University of York on behalf of York Science Park.
A spokesperson for the university told YorkMix: “We can confirm that the cafe at the Guildhall closed in the first week of January.
“This decision has been influenced by lower than anticipated footfall for the cafe so the catering team are now focusing on supporting the many events taking place at the Guildhall including conferences, weddings and awards ceremonies.
- University takes over York’s historic Guildhall
- Video tour: York’s restored Guildhall, complete with café, restaurant – and secret staircase
- Video: ‘Once in a generation’ makeover will keep historic York Guildhall buzzing ‘for centuries’
“Members of staff from the café are now working in our campus-based cafés and restaurants.”
The closure was greeted with dismay by those who had used the café.
One commented: “How sad – it was lovely, reasonable prices and so pleasant to sit in the old Committee Room 2 overlooking the river.
“They didn’t do much to let people know it was there though – I hope somebody else gets the chance to run it.”
But others said they never even realised it was there. “Despite being a York resident, this is the first I have ever heard of such a place. Admittedly not a good time to find out,” one commented.