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York Council


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News September 2016: Restricting trade

York councillors want to ban any more lap dancing and striptease clubs in York. They also want to restrict sex entertainment venues to the city centre, and to prevent them opening near places of worship, cinemas, theatres, concert venues, schools, libraries and museums and other venues frequented by families or children.

Now the city council's gambling, licensing and regulatory committee has agreed to start a public consultation on a draft revised sex establishment licensing policy with a condition that York has a maximum of two sex clubs at any time.



News March 2013: Closed

The bar closed after defaulting on the rent



Black Orchid

5 Toft Green

Daily: 9pm - 3:30am, earlier on race days

News November 2020: Licence renewal

Despite being harangued by coronavirus restrictions, the bar has applied for a licence renewal

News September 2019: Renewed

The council renewed the licence including a request top open earlier and close later on York race days.

News September 2018: Renewed

The council renews the licence and turned down the police request noting that in fact the club was already legally opening early on race days. The council also noted that there have been no significant recent complaints about how the club is operating.

News September 2018: Police censors

See article from

A request submitted to City of York Council s Gambling, Licensing & Regulatory Committee by the operators of Black Orchid in Toft Green asks the council to allow the club to open from 6pm when York Racecourse is hosting events. The club is currently open seven days a week from 9pm until 4.30am. But while seeking a renewal of the sex establishment licence it requested permission to open between 9pm and 3.30am each night, but 6pm until 4.30am on race days.

In a letter from North Yorkshire Police's alcohol licensing unit, PC Deborah Chadwick called for the council to refuse the change in hours. She wrote:

North Yorkshire Police do not oppose the renewal of the sexual entertainment licence, however they are opposed to the extension of hours on York race days by allowing sexual entertainment to begin at 6pm.

The police are aware that the licensing committee recently granted earlier opening hours on race days for another sexual entertainment venue in the city. However, in the interests of fairness, North Yorkshire Police requests that the committee adhere to their policy in not allowing sexual entertainment to take place prior to 9pm.

News July 2014: New licence

A new licence was granted by York Council to a new venue that will operate above the Tokyo Club. There were 11 letters of opposition claiming harm on York's tourism trade. There was also a campaign against the club by feminists.



The Mansion

Closed in December 2019 as the landlord would not extend the club's tenancy


upstairs york

News November: Closing

The landlord of the property used by Upstairs has decided not to renew the clubs tenancy and so the club is set to close from 1st January 2020. The club is now ooking for new premises.

News May 2018: Police censors

The venue is allowed top open daily from 9pm until 3am with an extension for horse racing days of 6pm until 4:30am. The police are now complaining about the early opening on race days. Probably a morality issue, in a letter to the licensing board, the force's PC Deborah Chadwick said:

North Yorkshire Police do not oppose the renewal of the Sexual Entertainment Licence, however they are opposed to the extension of hours on York race days, especially allowing Sexual Entertainment to begin at 6pm.

News February 2015: Turned Down

Cllr Keith Aspden, chairman of the committee decided against granting the licence supposedly because of the area's character, which housed numerous residents, and ludicrously waffled that he feared its Listed building status would not be protected sufficiently.

News February 2015: Downstairs

Owners of Upstairs nightclub want to expand into its ground floor on racedays.

Upstairs VIP Ltd has applied to City of York Council to vary the licence for the sexual entertainment venue, which is situated above Mansion nightclub in Micklegate but police, councillors and neighbours have spoken out, ahead of a decision next week.

Upstairs wants lap dancing to be allowed until 5am instead of 3am seven days a week, and to be permitted in the ground floor bar area and front room on race days, when temporary booths would be installed. The club has also applied for a renewal of its existing consent.

Five local residents have lodged worthless objections to the variations,

News February 2014: Licence Renewed

York council's licensing committee approved the application earlier this week. Licensing manager Lesley Cooke said members were satisfied that none of the grounds for refusal were established and therefore the licence could be renewed.

Owner Andrew Whitney said the opposition group's concerns about the organisations working with vulnerable women had been dismissed because their offices were all closed long before the club opened its doors at 9pm.

News November 2013: Licence Renewal

"Outraged' feminists have raised a 120 signature petition against the club's licence renewal.

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