Andrew Pern’s new plans for York

In a welcome piece of good news for Andrew Pern, whose The Star Inn Harome burnt to the ground last month (see picture), York Council has granted planning permission for his latest project, the York Minister Refectory Restaurant on the site of the former Minster School.

The chef, who already owns a York gastropub, the Star Inn the City, hopes to be able to reopen his North Yorkshire flagship after rebuilding by the end of next year. The fourteenth-century thatched building was reduced to ashes on 24 November in a fire that police are treating as arson; they reportedly interviewed a man under caution this week.

The Minster School occupied a complex of historic listed buildings directly opposite the Minster; founded to educate the Minster’s choristers, it closed down last year when the tourism income it depended on dried up during the pandemic lockdown. The proposed restaurant will be operated by chef Bex Toppin and partner Will Pearce of York’s Robinsons Cafe, under partner-directors Andrew Pern and Mike Green of Gem Construction.

Green said: “This is an ambitious but accessible restaurant launch in an historically sensitive refurbishment of the Minster School that will benefit the people and the city of York with new jobs and a fabulous restaurant. Plans are still being finalised, but we expect there will be a daytime takeaway element and daytime and evening dining. We also aim to have a mix of smaller function and private dining rooms, which are relatively rare in York.

“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 to be a distinctly different concept to the Star.” 

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