Chinese Puzzle

The restaurant, L'Octogone: featured in the York & District Advertiser, 11 April 1979.
The restaurant, L’Octagone, featured in the York & District Advertiser, 11 April 1979.


Do any of our readers have a good memory?  Can you remember the name of the Chinese restaurant which was once situated down by the river at Bishopthorpe?

We’ve been contacted by Paul Woods who told us that regulars of The Oak at Copmanthorpe recently had a heated debate on the subject.  Paul should remember the name because he celebrated his 21st birthday there!  He took up the challenge to find the name and asked members of the Bishopthorpe Local History Group.

Well we couldn’t remember either but knew that the octagon-shaped restaurant advertised in Link, the parish magazine.  Searching back copies in the Archive, we found that, from the late 1970’s until 1982, it was called, appropriately, ‘L’Octagone’.  There was a gap in the adverts from then until January 1989 when it took on the name, ‘Bishops’ – but we can’t find any reference to when it served Chinese food.  The restaurant was demolished a few years ago.

Can anyone answer the puzzle and put the good folk of Copmanthorpe out of their misery?   Please use the comments section or email:

8 comments on “Chinese Puzzle

  1. I think it spent some time as The Birdcage, but not sure if this was the Chinese period.
    Of course before any of this there was the Bosun’s Chair café…

  2. Was it The Dragon? Certainly there were pictures of Chinese dragons among the dangling Chinese lanterns. When it was called The Birdcage it served Italian food and was run by Silvano – who now has premises in the city centre.

  3. First time I’ve seen this post. The Chinese Restaurant was definitely called Bishop’s River. It was our favourite restaurant during the 90’s. It was owned and run by Sally & Eric (not sure of their surnames). We had our 25th wedding anniversary party at the restaurant in June 2000.
    Sadly the restaurant closed after the river flooded in late 2001.
    We’ve never found a restaurant to beat it.

    • Thanks for the information, Kevan. I put this piece up in 2016 and since then I have found more information so I think I’ll have to write an update!

  4. I am also sure it was called Bishop’s River during our time in Bishopthorpe while my wife (to be – at that time) was at the College of Law 1997-1999. Happy times and such lovely people who owned and worked there. As young professionals we relished the hidden escape on a Friday night!

  5. We were in the Chinese down by the river one summer evening enjoying a drink after the meal.
    Then a very long line of amphibian vehicles went down the river. Men in various types of military uniform were standing up in some vehicles. There were also one or two “cars” driving by.

    A very impressive display.

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