The Star's Andrew Pern revealed as investment partner in York Minster restaurant

08 December 2021 by
The Star's Andrew Pern revealed as investment partner in York Minster restaurant

Andrew Pern, chef-proprietor of the Michelin-starred Star at Harome in North Yorkshire, has been revealed as an investment partner in plans to open a refectory restaurant at York Minster.

City of York Council's planning committee unanimously resolved to grant planning permission for a restaurant to be created on the site of the former Minster School last week.

Bex Toppin and partner Will Pearce of Robinsons Café in York have been brought on-board to run the restaurant. Partners in the venture will also include GEM Construction, Pern's the Star Group of Restaurants and interior designer Rachel McLane, who previously worked on Pern's Star Inn the Harbour and Star Inn the City restaurants as well as the Bike & Boot hotel in Scarborough.

GEM Construction's chairman Mike Green is joint director and partner in the new venture with Pern.

Green said: "Plans are still being finalised but we expect there will be a daytime takeaway element, and daytime and evening dining; we also aim to have a mix of smaller function and private dining rooms, which are relatively rare in York...

"Although Andrew and I have been working very closely together on this project as we have on our other Star restaurants, people can expect the Minster refectory restaurant to be a distinctly different concept to the Star."

McLane said: "We want the Refectory's design to be an honest, community space, unpretentious, public focused and accessible, making it look like it belongs and won't take away from the essence of the building, by doing justice to its historical importance.

"The design concepts that we have come up with really respect and enhance the old school – the main floor Refectory restaurant space will be the space in which school pupils and staff ate their meals and hosted school concerts."

The Right Revd Dr Jonathan Frost, Dean of York, added: "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."

The plans for the new restaurant remain subject to final planning permission in a deal that is ‘subject to contract', as York Minster, Gem Construction and the Star Group finalise contract arrangements.

The Star at Harome was extensively damaged in a fire last month that is believed to have been started deliberately.

Photo: David Ionut/

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