top of page

The Old Liquor Store restaurant unveils stunning champagne terrace and oyster bar for alfresco dining

The Old Liquor Store, which opened in July 2023 and is set in the historic Grade 2 listed former Terry’s Chocolate Factory, has expanded with the addition of an impressive 40-cover outdoor terrace. The new south-facing Joseph Perrier Champagne terrace and oyster bar is located adjacent to the restaurant in a tranquil courtyard garden area which benefits from views of the iconic 135ft clock tower.


The Old Liquor Store restaurant unveils stunning champagne terrace and oyster bar for alfresco dining

It provides additional seating with a mix of dining furniture and comfy sofas so that people can enjoy fine dining or simply drinks and snacks in the tranquil outdoor haven. A dedicated menu ranging from oysters with a variety of dressings such as nduja crumb to spicy margarita ice; hot honey, parmesan and chilli buns with whipped ricotta; homemade antipasti sausage rolls; to doppo malto glazed fennel sausages has been introduced. Cocktails including a French martini, blood orange paloma and cosmo are available. As well as a special champagne cream tea consisting of freshly baked scones, jam and cream served with a glass of champagne for two people at £19.95. The terrace food menu is available from midday through to the end of evening service.


The Old Liquor Store restaurant unveils stunning champagne terrace and oyster bar for alfresco dining

Since its entry to the foodie scene in York following a £350,000 refurbishment project, the restaurant has garnered a loyal following with locals and is fast becoming the ‘go to’ place for relaxed, fine dining. The bustling Italian influenced restaurant, café, wine bar and deli, offers a fusion of contemporary small plates and sharing platters as well as breakfast, lunch, dinner and Sunday roasts.


At the helm of the Old Liquor Store is veteran, Ben Williams, who started his career in prison service hospitality on a graduate training scheme devising operational procedure manuals for prisoner food and shopping. Having acquired the Rose and Crown in Sutton-on-the-Forest at the age of 21, he transformed the business into a fine dining gastro pub, achieving an accolade from Michelin and two AA Rosettes, before relocating to London.


Ben explained: “The Old Liquor Store was more than two years in the making, but I’m thrilled with what the team has achieved so far. It’s been an honour to bring back to life such an iconic building which lends itself perfectly to providing an inviting backdrop where people can relax and enjoy fine food. The addition of our outdoor terrace adds a new dimension to the restaurant and we’re looking forward to welcoming local residents, tourists and racegoers.”

The kitchen is headed up by renowned local chef, Matt Leivers, who has over 10-years’ experience in some of the UK’s finest Michelin-accredited restaurants. His focus is on using Yorkshire seasonal produce to create Italian-inspired cuisine, a modern take on classic tapas and sharing plates. The evolving menu changes regularly to make the best use of seasonal ingredients and offers tasty, high-quality dishes. Matt’s signature dessert of terry-misu - the recipe being a closely guarded secret, much like the terry’s formula once was - features on the menu for special occasions and is a further nod to the former chocolate factory.  

All dishes and accompaniments are created in-house including the warm amaretto biscuits served with coffee to the butter, breads, ice cream desserts and posh baked cannellini beans. Matt is joined by sous chef, Jack Wheatley, and this venture marks the fifth kitchen they’ve worked in as a team over the last 10 years.

The Old Liquor Store is nestled between York Racecourse and the award winning Bishopthorpe Road and the name pays homage to its confectionery heritage. Located in what was originally the Transformer House, it’s widely believed that this was subsequently used to house coffee beans and barrels of rum imported from America for chocolate making, with the rum being added to the truffles in Terry’s All Gold boxes.

The Old Liquor Store restaurant unveils stunning champagne terrace and oyster bar for alfresco dining

Following a sympathetic refit, the property remains steeped in history, providing an atmospheric dining experience. Working with renowned designer, Banjo Beale (winner of the BBC1 series Interior Design Masters in 2022) the building has been restored and repurposed to ensure the décor maintains most of the building’s architectural features and reflects its manufacturing and confectionary legacy. The original tiling has been retained and walls are adorned with photographs and memorabilia donated by former Terry’s Chocolate Factory employees.

The dog-friendly restaurant is open Wednesday to Saturday, serving brunch, lunch and evening meals (10am – 9pm) and Sunday 12-4pm for roasts. The Old Liquor Store runs monthly tasting events. Group bookings for pre-race brunch and post-race dinner can also be made.

Reservations can be made by visiting 

Advertise your business with Handpicked Local


bottom of page