Andrew Pern part of consortium behind plans for York Minster restaurant

Tanwen Dawn-Hiscox

Tanwen Dawn-Hiscox

Deputy Editor

The City of York Council's planning committee has unanimously voted in favour of plans for a new restaurant in the York Minster with chef Andrew Pern as a joint director and partner on board.

While the Refectory Restaurant will be run by Robinsons Café duo Bex Toppin and Will Pearce, it has been backed by Andrew Pern's The Star Group, as well as GEM Construction, whose chairman Mike Green told The York Press that the restaurant would include a daytime takeaway element, as well as offering daytime and evening dining and a mix of smaller function and private dining rooms.

He added: "Although Andrew and I have been working very closely together on this project as we have on our other Star restaurants, people can expect the Minster Refectory Restaurant to be a distinctly different concept to the Star."

While contract arrangements between York Minster, Gem Construction and the Star Group are being finalised, the plans for the new restaurant are still subject to final planning permission in a deal that is ‘subject to contract.' 

Interior designer, Rachel McLane, director of the eponymous firm whose 20 years of experience includes a broad range of hospitality settings, as well as retail and residential projects, said: 

"We want the Refectory's design to be an honest, community space, unpretentious, public focused and accessible, making it look like it belongs and won't take away from the essence of the building, by doing justice to its historical importance.

"The design concepts that we have come up with really respect and enhance the old school - the main floor Refectory restaurant space will be the space in which school pupils and staff ate their meals and hosted school concerts." 

The project will likely be a worthy distraction for Andrew Pern, whose Michelin-starred restaurant with rooms, The Star at Harome, was 'reduced to ashes' two weeks ago in a fire that investigators are treating as having been started deliberately.

In these challenging times…

The Staff Canteen team are taking a different approach to keeping our website independent and delivering content free from commercial influence. Our Editorial team have a critical role to play in informing and supporting our audience in a balanced way. We would never put up a paywall and restrict access – The Staff Canteen is open to all and we want to keep bringing you the content you want; more from younger chefs, more on mental health, more tips and industry knowledge, more recipes and more videos. We need your support right now, more than ever, to keep The Staff Canteen active. Without your financial contributions this would not be possible.

Over the last 12 years, The Staff Canteen has built what has become the go-to platform for chefs and hospitality professionals. As members and visitors, your daily support has made The Staff Canteen what it is today. Our features and videos from the world’s biggest name chefs are something we are proud of. We have over 500,000 followers across Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube and other social channels, each connecting with chefs across the world. Our editorial and social media team are creating and delivering engaging content every day, to support you and the whole sector - we want to do more for you.

A single coffee is more than £2, a beer is £4.50 and a large glass of wine can be £6 or more.

Support The Staff Canteen from as little as £1 today. Thank you.

Tanwen Dawn-Hiscox

Tanwen Dawn-Hiscox

Deputy Editor 8th December 2021

Andrew Pern part of consortium behind plans for York Minster restaurant