Interview: Bistro Guy, York

Bistro Guy


40 Gillygate, York YO31 7EQ

I've always been passionate at promoting local businesses for a variety of reasons, they are an important part of community creation in our technologically driven societies. Also the money we spend in  such establishments is more likely to stay in the local economy and benefit other local businesses and residents.

Along with Bishopthorpe road and Fossgate, Gillygate is a strong contender for York’s best independent street. There are a wide variety of shops to browse, from the eccentric

Snow Home

, to the excellent vintage store,

Dog and Bone


The food scene along Gillygate is particularly vibrant, with some of my personal favourite haunts –

Café 68


Love Cheese

 and the excellent delicatessen,

Tarts and Titbits

. This is definitely an area which attracts those interested in high quality local food from independent businesses.

Bistro Guy, formerly known as Ambience, is another great addition to this thriving street. Now re branded, the establishment offers a the dual experience of operating as a café by day and bistro by night, all along with a beautiful outdoor seating area and garden space which backs onto the medieval city walls.

I first heard of Bistro Guy through word of mouth, which is always a very encouraging sign when looking for somewhere new to try. Customer recommendations are the lifeblood of any small business, which means that they must work hard to impress and ensure repeat custom. My friend certainly sung the praises of the coffee and cake she had enjoyed in the hidden garden at the back of the café.

With the lure of garden and great food firmly in mind, I decided go along and check out Bistro Guy for myself. I was met with a warm welcome from the owner, Guy (hence Bistro Guy!) who was kind enough to take some time out from his kitchen prep to speak to me about his approach to running the Bistro/Café

Guy’s drive to diversify the offering into themed nights and live music really stood out to be as being one of the strengths of Bistro Guy. He is also obviously passionate about using making the most of his previous experience and links with local suppliers. The focus on local and seasonal produce is one of the real lures for diners, especially as the menu is constantly changing to reflect the best of what is currently available.

You can see the current November menus 


 (Top points from me for having a good website, this is something that many venues often overlook!)

Can you spot the medieval wall?

Many thanks to Guy for speaking with me.