10 Minutes with: Ryan Darley, chef owner, Over There

The  Staff Canteen

The Staff Canteen

Editor 24th August 2018

Former Black Swan at Oldstead senior sous chef, Ryan Darley, has opened a new restaurant in Yorkshire.

Ryan Darley has previously worked for Tommy Banks at The Black Swan at Oldstead and after partnering up with his project manager father Ian he has opened up a new restaurant bar called 'Over There'.

The Staff Canteen spoke to Ryan about how he is realising a ten-year-old dream, deconstructed tasting menus and how 'Over There' is turning out to be quite the family affair.

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Over There

Former senior sous chef at the Michelin starred The Black Swan at Oldstead, Ryan Darley, has opened a new bar restaurant on the site of an old bus garage in his hometown of Brighouse in Yorkshire.

What is in a name?

It is called ‘Over There’ which was a bit of a slow burner for Ryan and his dad Ian.

Ryan explained: “We kept saying ‘I’ll see you over there’ and the more we kept saying it, the more we thought it was brilliant and people would just relate to it. We thought it would be funny to have a group of people at the bar and their friends would ring them and ask them where are they and they would say, ‘I’m at over there!’”

Not forgetting his roots

Ryan wanted ‘Over There’ to be a real hub for the community in Brighouse - providing a welcoming environment where people can meet and relax. It is very much casual dining which is a bit of a departure from Ryan’s time working at the likes of the Black Swan at Oldstead, the Devonshire Arms in Bolton Abbey and Yorebridge House in Bainbridge.  

“The way it is formatted is completely different from all the places I have worked at," said Ryan. "The ethos of Tommy has been amazing - I respect him a hell of a lot and he has been an amazing influence on me. I will be keeping my values and using fresh produce – the best that I can possibly use from around here.”

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Strawberry Tart

He added: “We didn’t want our restaurant to be a place where people come for a special occasion - we wanted it to be a place where the locals come to and chill. We don’t want to be that restaurant where people don’t go to because it is too expensive – we wanted it to be an everyday restaurant.”

‘Over There’ has undergone a massive renovation to create an industrial style interior which pays homage to the original heritage of the building.

Ryan revealed: “Back in the day (the site) was an old bus service station and that’s where we were going with the interior.”

One of the most intriguing highlights of the restaurant is the drinks menu which is presented on an old screen that used to display bus times.

Using local produce 

Ryan initially intended to serve just craft ale and snacks, but after undertaking a soft opening, he realised that people's priorities were most definitely focused on food. The premise of the soft opening was to see what people wanted and when. At one point he was open from 7am to 11 pm, serving all manner of meals, snacks and even afternoon tea!

This naturally evolved into serving what Ryan called a 'deconstructed tasting menu' which he likens to tapas with a twist -as diners are served shared plates with dishes such as trout with tomato, halibut, peas and courgette and for those with a sweet tooth - a lemon cake and strawberries. Ryan will be foraging and using local produce to offer customers the ‘freshest food and the highest quality’.

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Halibut, peas and courgette

He is so far is enjoying the experience but admits that it has been something of a whirlwind since 'Over There' opened its doors less than a month ago. What does he want to achieve from his restaurant moving forwards? He wants to continue to expand his food offering and seeing this evolve. Customer experience is really important to Ryan too.

He said: "I want people to come in and feel like they are stepping out of Brighouse into a new world - like Narnia!"

A dream, ten years in the making

The father and son’s new venture sees the culmination of a 10-year dream from the duo. Growing up, Ryan spent lots of time in the kitchen cooking with his father and they often talked about opening a restaurant together.

When he was just 14 years old, his Dad made him a promise that one day they would achieve their dream. Ryan said: “It’s the first time that we have worked together so closely. It’s been a trying few weeks - but I think that this place has brought us closer together."

It seems that ‘Over There’ has been something of a family affair, Ryan said: “There are three generations of us working together. It’s a proper family restaurant.”

By Emma Harrison


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The  Staff Canteen

The Staff Canteen

Editor 24th August 2018

10 Minutes with: Ryan Darley, chef owner, Over There