Think Indie: Return of the Damn Yankee in Harrogate

Damn Yankee in Harrogate is set to re-open in November 2017

It’s great to hear that Damn Yankee, one of Harrogate’s oldest restaurants, is about to re-open its doors.

There was widespread disappointment around town earlier this year when it was announced the restaurant was closing down with immediate effect.

Anyone who grew up in Harrogate will have memories attached to Damn Yankee – birthday meals, dinners with school friends and family occasions. The reasons for its closure were discussed at length, with the threat of an influx of chains among the concerns shared online by locals.

All that is now in the past, though, as we’re pleased to hear a brand new take on Damn Yankee is about to be launched. The restaurant has had a make-over, the menu is being updated and the new owners are preparing to welcome their first guests on Friday 10th November.

The full details are being kept under wraps, so we’ll just have to wait and see what the team serve up to enthusiastic customers later this month. However, with recruitment under way and some teasers posted on social media, there’s already a lot of excitement about the return of a local institution.

Damn Yankee has been part of the Harrogate landscape since 1972 – an incredible 45 years in business. It would have been a huge shame to lose all that history, not to mention another independent restaurant. In the last couple of years, quite a number of popular local restaurants have closed, from the fine dining at Van Zeller to the quirky and creative menu of BED.

However, in recent months, we’ve seen the opening of a few new indie venues – and with them, a growing wave of support for local businesses. Galo’s Kitchen is setting up in the former Van Zeller premises on Montpellier Street, Mykanos has replaced Salsa Posada on Mayfield Grove, and Papa’s has earned rave reviews for its restaurant in the former Yorkshire Meatball Company space on Station Bridge (see the Locals’ Guide to Greek and Turkish Restaurants for more on the latter two!).

We’re also looking forward to the opening of the Cold Bath Deli, which has taken over the shop formerly occupied by Leng’s grocers on Cold Bath Road (which we’ve also featured in the Locals’ Guides – part one is here and part two here).

It feels like there’s momentum behind the campaign to support Harrogate’s brilliant local shops, cafes and restaurants at the moment, and we hope the new Damn Yankee will become part of that list of thriving indies. Here at Baltzersen’s, we’ll continue to champion the best Harrogate indies through our Locals’ Guides and other blogs, to help you find hidden gems and support fantastic places doing great things.

To read more about the indie scene in Harrogate, including plans for the new Indie Harrogate collective, visit Paul’s blog.

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