When the 200-year old Blue Bell on Fossgate, in York, came under a perceived potential threat recently, praise the heavens when loyal locals and the licensee fended this off.
Another company acquired the owner’s business, so who knew what may have happened to the Blue Bell? All signed an application to protect the pub, and thankfully York City Council listened and now lists the pub as an asset to the city – which of course it is. There can now be no change of use without first offering the freehold to members of the community.
The Blue Bell is one of the smallest pubs in York, with just two rooms of untouched Edwardian splendour from the last renovation in 1903. Though on the tourist trail, it is also loved and frequented by locals year-round. There are no games machines, no music, no TVs, no kids, and no groups allowed in – says the chalkboard outside. There’s no food either except pork pies and bread.
What there is, though, are cask ales and ciders including Timothy Taylors Landlord and Knowle Spring, Keelham Island Best, Rudgate Ruby Mild, Roosters Yankee and Acorn Dragon IPA. Wines and spirits of course and atmosphere that one can only dream of these days in a pub.
As the chalkboard says, this is just a proper pub, for proper pub people. It gets my vote.
The Blue Bell, 53 Fossgate, York YO1 9TF Tel: 01904 654904.
Open: Mon – Thurs: 11am – 11pm, Fri & Sat: 11am – midnight, Sun: 12 – 10.30pm.
Drinks selection 4/5