Bettys Café Tea Rooms set to close in Stonegate York

Bettys in St Helen’s Square will remain open

Bettys, a chain of tea shops popular amongst tourists and locals alike, has announced its branch on Stonegate York known as “Little Bettys” will close, putting dozens of jobs at risk.

The chain, which is over 100 years old, currently has several branches across Yorkshire including two in York city centre. However Simon Eyles, Bettys’ managing director, has declared the Stonegate branch will not re-open post-pandemic.

In a blog post posted on Bettys’ website Eyles wrote: “We’ve been welcoming customers to a café on Stonegate for over 50 years. We’re incredibly grateful for the loyalty and kindness of York’s residents and visitors over that time and for the talent, commitment and dedication of our colleagues at the branch”.

He went on to say: “Our thanks also go to our customers. Many have visited the Stonegate café regularly for years, sometimes decades, and we know that lots of memories are bound up in ‘Little Bettys’. We hope to help you create new Bettys memories in the years to come”.

This is reportedly nothing to do with the coronavirus pandemic but instead a result of challenges posed by the building’s lack of space. Bettys Stonegate is the smallest of the tea rooms and housed in a historic building, meaning the kitchen area doesn’t meet the required working conditions the company requires.

The managing director told The Yorkshire Post that none of Bettys’ other five tea rooms are at risk of closure but the Stonegate closure will affect a total of 34 jobs. Although Eyles confirmed that efforts are underway to deploy employees to elsewhere in the business.

A spokesperson for Bettys said “We’re saddened to be closing but believe that it’s the right thing to do for the wider business and for our long-term future.”

The St Helen’s Square tea room and shop will remain open so residents of York can still grab their afternoon tea fix.

Related articles recommended by this writer:

Kill the Bill protest held in St Helen’s Square York


• A guide to the mental health support available for students at York