A popular York restaurant closed its doors for the last time on 1 September as its owners prepare to open a new venture that promises to bring ‘good mood food’ from the southern states of the USA to Goodramgate, as Cut & Chase transforms into Fancy Hanks Bar & Kitchen.
The transformation will take two weeks, but has been years in the planning for two brothers, who are drawing on their experiences living in Florida and travelling across states like Texas, Florida and Louisiana to bring a taste of the Deep South to York. Wes and Joel Taylor, who opened the restaurant in 2016, are keen to offer residents and visitors alike something very different from the current food on offer across the city centre.
“The food scene in York has moved incredibly quickly over the last three years, and we need to stay at the cutting edge of that curve – with so many restaurants now offering a similar menu to Cut & Chase, based on local produce and seasonal availability, we’ve turned to a different kind of food that is close to our hearts, and drinking and dining experience, to stand out in a busy market,” explains Wes. “With Fancy Hanks, we’re turning the tables from food that is good for you, to food that makes you feel good, with a vibrant atmosphere to match – not just for special occasions, this will be far more friendly and casual; a place to chill with friends with live music in a relaxing setting all year round.”
Joel sees the move as an evolution, rather than revolution, of their ideas. They are keen to avoid the idea of Fancy Hanks being a clichéd themed restaurant, for example, describing the style as Shoreditch meets Deep South. “We always described the venue as a kitchen and bar, and that will continue. Our cocktails – and cocktail making classes – have proved incredibly popular, and tapas-style small plates are designed to encourage social eating, with groups sharing several dishes over a longer period of time, so whether you’re looking for a hearty meal or a great way to start an evening out, you’ll be welcome at Fancy Hanks.”
Another key change for the brothers is the desire to reconnect with their clientele, with Joel and Wes planning to spend less time behind the scenes, and more front of house. “Restaurants in the Deep South have a great bonhomie between patrons and those cooking their meals – this is a family-run venture, and we want to invite those drinking and dining with us to join the family whilst they are here,” adds Wes. “We want people to leave with a smile on their face at the end of the evening – and planning their return visit.”
The final menus are still under wraps until the opening ahead of York’s Food & Drink Festival, but diners can expect soul food like gumbo, jambalaya and fried chicken on the menu, as well as peach cobbler and Mississippi Mud Pie, with diners enjoying an eclectic soundtrack from cool jazz and 70s soul to modern R&B. Space in the enlarged bar will be allocated to live musicians, with regular opportunities to hear up and coming local artists playing.
To sign up for the latest news from Fancy Hanks, including the chance to be invited along to special tasting and opening events, please visit www.fancyhanks.co.uk