The future of Little Bettys on Stonegate in York has been under consultation since the closure of its cafe earlier this year, and the premises had continued to trade as a shop only.
The branch is only a short walk from the flagship Bettys on St Helen's Square, and the small historic building's layout proved difficult for customers, particularly those with mobility issues, and waiting staff to negotiate safely. Bettys described it as 'the least commercially viable' of its property portfolio and a 'challenging environment to operate in', and admitted that a small shop so close to a larger tearoom was not practical.
It was the smallest of the Bettys family, which also includes sites in Harrogate, Ilkley, Northallerton and RHS Harlow Carr.
Bettys managing director Simon Eyles said: "This has been a very tough decision, but one we have made for the long-term future of our business. Our people are our strength and we are focussing our energy now to find opportunities for the Little Bettys team in other roles within the business. We’re hugely grateful for their ongoing support and commitment.
"Our thanks also go to our customers. Many have visited Little Bettys regularly for years, sometimes decades, and we know that lots of memories are bound up here. We hope people will be able to pay us a last visit at Little Bettys and that we can help them create new memories in our other branches over the years to come.’
"This decision was made following a period of consultation with the staff at the Little Bettys branch which began on August 23. The consultation process continues with the focus now on efforts to redeploy those affected by this decision, a team of nine people. A final closing date has yet to be confirmed. The remaining five Bettys branches remain open as usual."