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Former Black Swan at Oldstead sous to open craft ale-led bar and restaurant

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Former Black Swan at Oldstead sous to open craft ale-led bar and restaurant

Ryan Darley and his father Ian are planning to open a craft ale-led bar and restaurant in Brighouse this summer called ‘Over There’.

Ryan, formerly senior sous chef at Tommy Banks’s Black Swan at Oldstead, and his father have taken a seven-year lease at a former deli site in West Yorkshire, and hope to open a 100-cover bar and restaurant there over the next two months.

“There are so many people who enjoy a craft beer but they don’t want to eat while they’re drinking because they think it ruins the flavour of the beer,” said Ryan, speaking to The Caterer. “I want to involve fresh produce, foraging, everything I’ve learned from Tommy, and develop it into something that goes with beers.”

Ryan would oversee the kitchen and is designing a menu which would pair with the ales on offer, while father Ian, who has a background in construction, project management and marketing, would oversee the business.

“It’s something we’ve always spoken about between the two of us. We used to cook together and mess around in the kitchen – that’s where I get my passion from,” said Ryan, who trained at Northcote in Langho and the Devonshire Arms in Skipton. He then took up a junior sous chef role at Yorebridge House in Bainbridge before joining the Black Swan.

They expect to spend approximately £20,000 on renovating the site, having already spent the same amount fitting out the kitchen, and are funding the site through a loan from a family friend.

The venue’s design will nod to its history as an old bus garage with industrial-style interiors, but with plants and foliage, “like an overgrown garage”.

The pair were initially set on a site in Ripon, which fell through, but then Ian came across the empty site in their home town and tracked down the landlord.

They plan to open Over There in stages, partitioning the space, to start bringing in revenue and developing a reputation and excitement in the local community.

The Darleys have already secured a deal with Marston’s Brewery to supply some of the beer and will be recruiting a small team for the opening, which they then hope to increase as the site becomes busier.

They aim to open fully by the end of June. In the meantime, Ryan is developing the menus and testing them in local bars with customers. “It’s very community-based around here so I want to involve the community in my development,” he said.

Ian added that they would refine the business model over the next 18 months and, if it worked well, would look at applying the model in other local areas and potentially expanding.

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