Bettys announces plans to close shop at site which has served York for more than half a century

Senior managers at Bettys are considering plans to close one of its shops at a site which has been operating in the heart of York for more than 50 years.

The Bettys store in York, which could now be closing after the decision was taken in March to shut the tearooms which operated off the same site. (Photo: Bettys)

Staff at the Little Bettys store are being consulted about the plans to shut the operation, which is located in Stonegate close to the firm’s flagship York tearooms and shop in the nearby St Helen’s Square.

The revelations come after it was announced in March that the tearooms at the Stonegate site were to shut, affecting 34 employees. The latest move to consider closing the shop which is based in the same building has placed the jobs of nine staff at risk.

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A spokeswoman for Bettys stressed every effort would be made to re-deploy the staff to other positions in the company, and a final decision has not been reached about the potential closure.

But she added: “Little Bettys, as it’s often known by customers, has long been the most operationally and commercially challenging of our branches.

“Earlier this year we took the decision to permanently close the upstairs café, but kept the small downstairs shop open with a plan to look at different options and formats for the building.

“Sadly, to date, we’ve been unable to find a workable option, so we’ve made the team aware of a proposal to close the entire branch.”

The spokeswoman said none of Bettys’ other tearooms in Harrogate, Harlow Carr, Ilkley and Northallerton as well as the main cafe in York are at risk of closure.

A second branch opened in York in 1965, and the Stonegate tearooms was initially run by Bettys’ sister company, the tea and coffee merchants Taylors of Harrogate.

It became a Bettys in 1999, initially known as Little Bettys before being rebranded as Bettys Stonegate in 2011.