1331, York. The Hatted Man. His Pedal Is To The Metal And He’s Ripped Off His Rear View Mirror: The Hatted Man, Yours And York’s Favourite Cafe And Bar Critic, Gorges His Senses On York’s Decadence, And He Does It For You. He Paves The Way, We Will Follow. This Month He Gambols Into ‘1331’ And Fair Shrieks With Delight At The Ale And Feed Found Therein. His Taste Is Impeccable – Heed Him, And Be Thankful. Next Month? Only He And His Feathered Friends Know. Watch Out! He Bites.

1331 – Reassuringly Expensive!!!

Basking in the rays of spring sunshine that emanate through the glass conservatory of this quaint and inviting courtyard, I find myself being drawn into a mellowing fondness for this recent addition to York’s back street bar scene. Taking over the premises vacated by Kites last year 1331 looks like its been here years, the floral baskets and climbing ivy have rooted and mixed with Priestley’s and York Framing and as a result the whole courtyard is seemingly complemented by this intriguing coffee shop. And it has to be, it being increasingly difficult to lead people down an arcade or up a stair case into the unknown, and a nearby Slug & Lettuce is enough of a deterrent to distract the most intrepid of adventurers. Which would be a shame, because for me this is a cracking little bar and restaurant. Mr Chrisy Stewart (one of my favourite York bartenders) the in house master of ceremonies keeps me entertained whilst I consider my options from a healthy/unhealthy array of tipples. Upstairs I can hear a foot tapping as the live blues band prepare to sell their souls at the crossroads in pursuit of perfection. Now speaking of perfection I would say that in some ways the bar looks a little mismatched and slightly unfinished, small jobs that would take little time catch the eye, and although this would not raise any questions over the intended professionalism of 1331 it may lead me to feel the inner workings are a little frenetic. It is always the small things that make the difference, the final touches that can lift a bar. The menu, however, is good, varied and enjoyable to read. Food groups are well represented and the wording allows me sensation of taste before my food arrives. A lazy sofa lounge atmosphere encapsulates one deep intro into a void devoid of time and the hours can truly fly. For me this eatery is best visited on a Sunday afternoon when York’s thirty something crowd reminisce over past feats of hedonistic misadventure. I’m currently fascinated by the rise of these so called gastro clubbers, those M25/Hacienda crowds of the early to mid ‘90s whom through age have swapped messy, herbal Sundays for a traditional roast, a stiff Bloody Mary complemented by a Mylo soundtrack…If this is you then 1331 is your place to be, good pub food, comprising of baked aubergines, lamb shanks, and daily options of locally caught fish served with proficiency and speed to the soundtrack provided either from the live blues band or by regular appearances from York favourites Mr Green and Dylinga of Mr Green’s Onion Club/Supa Fi fame. Eat well, drink well and allow yourself to be ensnared in Sunday Night Chicken Fried Phunk! PS Look out for the summer BBQ…

By Thomas Kershaw (The Hatted Man) on March 17, 2010

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