An Ilkley bistro has raised £730 for a local hospice after asking customers for donations on its opening night rather than pay their food bill.

Wells Bistro held a two-day opening event during the weekend for loyal customers following a three-week refurbishment.

Brother and sister team Richard Horne and Philippa Enever then asked people to donate to Martin House Hospice.

The good cause is close to their hearts because Mrs Enever’s fellow artist Nik Walford, of the nearby Weaverbird Workshop, used to get respite care there for his son, Sam, who sadly died in February 2011 aged four.

Mrs Enever said: “Sam was severely disabled and he used to go to the hospice for respite care.

“Nik and his family can’t say enough good things about Martin House, and holding these two evenings is also a way of saying thank you to our loyal customers and is something to give back to them.

“He wanted to raise awareness for the hospice, as they do an amazing job and their income is dependent entirely on individual donations.”

Mrs Enever had roped in Nik to help paint the murals on the wall of the bistro, completed just days before the grand opening.

“When we got the bistro, we gave it a lick of paint and that was all we could really afford,” she said.

“We lived with it but it looked really tired and was over different levels.

“We decided to bite the bullet and bring it right up to date, and now it is much more contemporary.”

Richard is the sole bistro chef, and he had to literally don his overalls and help with the refurbishment just a day after returning from his honeymoon.

“I came back late on the Sunday and started cleaning the kitchen on the Monday, and dust was coming down from the ceiling,’ he said.

“It was like 100 years of history coming down in the kitchen, and every little pot has been scrubbed from scratch. At one stage, people said they didn’t want it to change because they liked it being quirky, but now people are putting their heads around the door and saying how smart it looks.”