Global fast food chain to open first York branch in empty store


An international fast food chain will open its first branch in York, transforming one of the city’s largest empty stores.

German Doner Kebab wants to open in the old BrightHouse building in Piccadilly, next to Merchant Adventurer’s Hall.

The move is part of a major expansion for the franchise chain, which announced earlier this year that it hopes to open 47 new restaurants in the UK, creating 1,800 jobs.

Plans for the new Piccadilly branch would create 30 positions, 15 full-time and 15 part-time. The building had been empty since the start of the pandemic, when BrightHouse took office.

German Doner Kebab was founded in 1989 in Berlin and today has 52 restaurants in the UK as well as others in Canada, Ireland, Saudi Arabia, Sweden, the United Arab Emirates and the United States. He describes himself as “a fast food retailer who created a healthy, nutritionally balanced approach to traditional kebabs .

The company has submitted planning applications to York City Council for the Piccadilly site. Planning requests have also been submitted in recent weeks in Basingstoke, Middlesbrough and Worcester, and other cities covered by the expansion plans include Manchester, Huddersfield, Stockport, Newcastle, London, Blackburn, Glasgow and Stirling.

Change the game

Inside what used to be Bright House. Photography: YorkMix

Announcing the proposals earlier this year, Managing Director Imran Sayeed told the media, “We have been extremely nimble during the pandemic and there continues to be a huge demand for our revolutionary kebabs.

“So it is very exciting to announce these latest growth plans for the next 12 months as we build on the great momentum we launched in 2020.

A great place: Luminous House

“Our plans will almost double our portfolio and create approximately 1,800 jobs as we continue to disrupt the market space and maintain our mission of building the fast-casual brand of the future.”

York’s investment is the latest in a continuing wave of new restaurant and cafe plans for the city. Other imminent additions include the new Italian restaurant Vitoria in Coppergate, Mariachi Tacos on the corner of Coney Street and New Street, Rosa’s Thai in Coney Street and a new cultural cafe on The Stonebow.


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