Site owners of The Eden Spa beauty salon, on the corner of Fulford Road and Alma Terrace, opposite the Fulford Arms pub, were granted planning permission to change the use of the building to become a two-storey restaurant with outdoor seating.
Over recent months work has taken place to renovate the building – including the construction of a quirky-looking fence at the front of the premises made from metal and filled with wooden logs.
However, The Press has discovered that the building will NOT become a restaurant.
Instead, it is to be the showroom for Hot Box Stoves, which has been supplying and installing wood-burning stoves since 2008 and currently operates from a base at Sutton Road, Wigginton, York.
Hot Box managing director Oliver Neal said the showroom would have a soft opening on Tuesday and would then be open Mondays to Saturdays from 9am to 5pm.
Oliver said he had wanted to open a showroom on Fulford Road for many years and had once considered the site of the former sweet shop Beilby’s, now Kawa House coffee shop, on the corner of Ordnance Lane.
When he learned that the Eden beauty shop was available, he decided to snap it up – but only after he carried out an experiment to gauge the level of passing trade.
He said: “I got my counter out to count the amount of passing traffic and counted 400 cars in ten minutes. Some 16,500 cars a day pass that location. I thought: ‘Ok, let’s do a deal’.”
Oliver says York has lots of new restaurants, so it is nice for another local, independent, non-food business to open in the city.
He said: “This area is becoming the next Bishopthorpe Road. It is not dissimilar in terms of access to the river and city centre.” He said there were plenty of places to eat and drink in the Fulford Road area too.
The company sells and installs a wide range of wood-burning stoves but also has a range of outdoor living products for the summer, from bespoke outdoor kitchens to all-American smoker grills.
Oliver said he planned to show off the outdoor products at the showroom in York.
He said: “The plan for next summer is to have a display area in the back yard to show our outdoor kitchen barbecues, wood-fired pizza ovens and hot tubs.
“We will have our smoker grills out in the front.”
He said he hoped the showroom would lead to more sales from York people, adding that interest in wood-burning stoves remained buoyant with around 200,000 selling each year in the UK.
He said: “We sell a lot online but this gives us an opportunity to expand business to the local community .
“York does lack some interesting places. There are plenty of bars and restaurants but as for other independent businesses, well, there are a few popping up now.”