Independent Coffee House to take over Cafe at Award Winning Hepworth Gallery, Wakefield

The Hepworth Wakefield has announce a new collaboration to transform the gallery’s café and catering offer. Leeds-based House of Koko are partnering with Wakefield-based chef Chris Hale and his wife Sophie ( to take over the running of The Hepworth Wakefield Café from October 2017. They will launch with a new menu and redesigned dining space to create a welcoming dining experience for visitors.

The House of Koko (, is an independent coffee and tea house which was opened in Chapel Allerton in 2015 by Shanshan Zhu and Chris Ball. It quickly became a local favourite offering a seasonal menu, speciality tea and coffee, and home-made cakes.

Chris Hale, BBC Masterchef 2016 quarter-finalist and owner of Pop-Up North (, will be executive chef for The Hepworth Cafe. He has created a diverse menu for the whole family featuring British classics made from local Yorkshire produce, alongside brunch and lunch options from the existing House of Koko menu.

(Photo courtesy of Mama Mei

Chris’s experience of creating and delivering one-off event menus will enable The Hepworth Wakefield to further develop its wedding and special events offer, both within the gallery and in the adjacent converted mill The Calder. Details about how to hire the space can be found at

(Photo courtesy of The Hepworth Gallery)

Chris Ball of House of Koko, commented: ‘The Hepworth Wakefield is an amazing venue and it has transformed the city. We want to embody this success with our wonderful locally sourced food and drink to create memorable menus and events.
We’ve loved growing House of Koko over the past couple of years and we are unbelievably excited about our next step.’

(Photo courtesy of House of Koko)

Chef Chris Hale, said: ‘We are passionate about promoting Yorkshire food and drink to the world and helping to put Wakefield firmly on the map. The Hepworth Wakefield has achieved so much in its first six years and we want the food and drink offering to be just as creative and exciting.’

Rachel Crewes, Head of Business Development at The Hepworth Wakefield, welcomes the new collaboration. ‘We can’t wait to start working with House of Koko. They have created a very special experience in Chapel Allerton with great coffee, great food and great service underpinning everything they do. We believe that with this fresh approach and refurbishment, The Hepworth Café will soon become a destination in its own right. We are also very excited to be working with local Masterchef quarter finalist Chris Hale as executive chef, a fantastic addition to our events and wedding offer here at the gallery.’

The cafe’s opening will coincide with the gallery’s free exhibition launch party on Friday 20th October, 7 – 10pm, and will be refitted with furniture designed by Plaey Workshop. The full cafe menu will be served from Saturday 21st October, 10am – 5pm. Entry to the gallery is free.

I’ll certainly be heading down to The Hepworth in the near future to try out their new exciting menu and set up.


Ryan Johnson, Communications Officer, The Hepworth Wakefield

T: +44 (0)1924 247392


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