Award-winning chef Bex Toppin and partner Will Pearce of Robinsons Cafe, York, have been brought on board to run the York Minster Refectory Restaurant as part of a
development team that also includes GEM Construction (York) Ltd., The Star Group of Restaurants, and Rachel McLane Ltd.
GEM Construction's chairman Mike Green, who is joint director and partner in the new venture with The Star Group's director Andrew Pern, said: "This is an ambitious, high quality but accessible restaurant launch in an historically sensitive refurbishment of The Minster School, York, that will benefit the people and the city of York with new jobs and a fabulous restaurant while embracing the vision of the Chapter of York, the governing body for York Minster."
The Right Revd Dr Jonathan Frost, Dean of York said: "We are delighted that City of York Council granted planning permission and listed building consent.
"This excellent partnership fully embraces Chapter’s vision to create a warm, welcoming refectory facility in the heart of the city. Re-purposing the former Minster School buildings to create a wonderful new space is fundamental to the principles of sustainability set out in the York Minster Precinct Neighbourhood Plan.
“We are also delighted to work with partners whose ethos as a community employer is aligned with York Minster’s core values for openness, inclusivity and support for disadvantaged groups, such as ex-prisoners, who are often excluded from mainstream employment opportunities.
“We are confident that the new Refectory Restaurant will operate very much in the caring spiritual, historical tradition of York Minster as a place of sanctuary and alms
for feeding and watering pilgrims and the needy. The venture remains ‘subject to contract’ and we continue to work closely with Gem and The Star Group to finalise the detail”.