An upmarket burger and cocktail restaurant has opened in Evesham after the runaway success of its takeaway business, attracting the likes of former jockey and racehorse trainer, Jonjo O’Neill, as clientele.
StirrUps is the brainchild of best friends Darren Strickland and Stuart Bailey, who will be opening their first restaurant in Evesham later this autumn.
The pair, both from Evesham themselves, have over 20 years of kitchen experience between them and are hopeful StirrUps will attract plenty of visitors to the town.
The business began life as a gin bar run out of a converted horsebox – hence the name. But the pandemic meant the business had to evolve quickly.
After major events that StirrUps was booked for were cancelled, the pair decided to turn it into a burger delivery service – specifically for indulgent ‘dirty’ burgers with street-food-style chips – alongside their cocktails, and created a small home-kitchen to base themselves.
It proved so successful that Darren and Stuart set their sights on opening a permanent restaurant at the former Outside Inn in Evesham town centre after investment from Evesham businessman Dan Walker, whose family founded flooring company Karndean.
They have made a commitment to sourcing high quality, local ingredients for their food, putting it above typical chain restaurants.
“The suppliers in and around Evesham are absolutely fantastic”, Darren said.
“This starts with the meat for our burgers. Our mince and brisket comes from Everess Farm in Gloucester from grass-fed Gloucester cattle, a rare breed that came close to extinction if it wasn’t for breeding operations like at Everess.
“Our sauces come from a fantastic company called Tubby Toms, another Gloucester business, who make absolutely delicious products which truly take our burgers to the next level.
“And we source our brioche buns from Ma Baker in Worcester, who make their rolls using a unique Japanese recipe which produces a soft, yet robust bun to house our big, saucy burgers.
“Working with local suppliers is a big part of our ethos at StirrUps – we’re Evesham boys at heart and we place a lot of importance on working with the great companies around us.”
Darren and Stuart are now busy fitting out the interior, which will be decorated in a rustic yet stylish manner, with natural wood panels, exposed brickwork, and neon lights.
The restaurant will be across two floors, with the cocktail bar on the ground floor and further seating on the first floor. At full capacity, StirrUps can serve around 80 covers.
Stuart added: “We’ve come a long way since we ran a gin bar out of a converted horsebox, and we’re so excited to welcome our first customers.
“We’re confident our menu using locally-sourced ingredients will deliver big flavours that customers will keep coming back for.
“The success of the takeaway side of our business shows our customers love our food, so we hope we can translate this into further success in our restaurant.”