We originally opened in 2001, as Melton’s Too. The Hjort family has owned businesses in York since 1990 when they opened the fine dining restaurant, Melton’s, on Scarcroft Road. In 2014, the business was renamed Walmgate Ale House. The family are passionate about using and promoting local produce. Following this passion, Walmgate Ale House is also the HQ for the York Food and Drink Festival of which Michael is Director. In 2018, we were keen to go back to our roots and develop a separate identity for the restaurant so the Chopping Block was born!
WALMGATE ALE HOUSE
Our rustic bar area is a cosy and comfy place for you to enjoy a drink (or two!). We have up to six real ales on tap each day all from local breweries. Our real ales are sourced through local, Yorkshire breweries and change regularly. These breweries include: Bad Co, Rudgate Brewery, York Brewery, Daleside Brewery, Treboom Brewery and Great Yorkshire Brewery who also provide us with Yorkshire Cider and Lager. Alongside this, we have local cider, lagers, fine wines & a wide selection of spirits.
We also have a large range of homemade Bar Snacks, such as Dirty Fries, Yorkshire Puddings filled with Pulled Beef or Chilli Beans, or our Creamy Garlic Mushrooms with Homemade Bread. Something for everyone!
The Ale House is perfect for parties, such as Birthdays, Christenings or Retirements. Our Games Room & rear Bar area can accommodate up to 35 people comfortably, whether just enjoying drinks, competing on our bar billiards table, or settling in with a bespoke Bar Snack Buffet, we can cater to your needs.
History of OUR BUILDING
The Chopping Block and Walmgate Ale House are housed in a 17th century listed building on Walmgate.
Before the Hjort family took over the building, it was owned by Ellerker’s. From 1795 Ellerker’s sold saddles, harnesses and rope. Famously, Ellerker’s was commissioned to make the hangman’s nooses for York Prison (now York Castle Museum) which cordoned the phrase “For me there is no hope – was Ellerker’s made this rope.” We have kept the horses head figure at the front of the building from the Ellerker’s days as a symbol of pride in the building’s heritage. The interior of the Bar and Restaurant also reflects the history of the building and includes ropes, saddles and old photographs from the days of Ellerker’s.
Cat Trail & OUR RESIDENT GHOST
On the outside of the building, you will see a Cat. Our cat is one of around 22 cat statues across the city of York. Many of these cats were made by architect Toms Adams, who used the cats to mark his work. You can find the Cat Trail here.
During the 1970s when Ellerker’s was run by Paul Schofield, who sold Tarpaulins. He recalls a number of staff claiming seeing a Ghost in the Loft who moved objects, with great crashes, about the room.
Further information / FAQ’s
ORDER IN ADVANCE?: This is not normally needed, but we do need you to choose a party menu for use on the day. Our staff are trained to cater to large parties and are happy to take your order after you have arrived..
DIETS: Our menus cater for most specific dietary requirements, so there is no need to worry in advance about common concerns like Vegetarian or Gluten free diets. It is helpful to know about Vegans and severe allergy issues in advance (although it’s not a problem to accommodate them).
DEPOSITS: We only ask for these for a short period of the Christmas party season; £10 per head between the 4th and 17th of December (2023).
DISABLED ACCESS: The nature of our listed building prevents us from providing wheelchair access to the Restaurant and Loft. There are wider, modern service stairs (the staff / emergency staircase) that provides easier access for those with limited mobility. We can convert the Games Room (ground floor) into a space for parties (25 max) if required. All toilets (including Disabled) are on the ground floor.
SERVICE: We add a 10% discretionary service charge to tables with 8 or more guests.