The victim had been walking to meet his wife when he became involved the argument with three people sat on a bench outside Camera Mart on Church Street, York.
Two men then assaulted the victim, who was punched and kicked while he was on the floor.
He went to York Hospital for treatment to injuries including a swollen eye which he could not open for several days, a bruised back and arms, and several facial cuts
A North Yorkshire Police spokesman said they were seeking witnesses to the attack at 9.45pm on Wednesday, January 25.
He said: "We are conducting enquiries and are requesting the public’s assistance to help determine the full circumstances surrounding the incident.
"In particular, we are appealing for information from anyone who was in that area and saw the assault, or any of the suspects."
The first man was white, 40 to 45 years old, about 5ft 10in and stocky. He was described as having short, dark greying hair with facial stubble, wearing a dark jacket and blue jeans.
The second man is described as white, 40 to 45 years old, 6ft and of a slender build. He had shaved blond or ginger hair.
They were with a white woman, who was approximately 40 years old, around 5ft 5in and of average build.
Anyone with information that could assist the investigation should contact police on 101, select option 2, and ask for Harriet Shillito.
If you wish to remain anonymous, you can pass information to Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.
Please quote the North Yorkshire Police reference number 12170014548.