“Beverley’s quite a small town and when you work somewhere like The Potting Shed you get to know everyone because you spend most of your time around the customers,” he said. “But to be honest I went to school with a lot of them or they’re friends of my parents so we knew each other anyway.
Now 25, Darren had his teenage introduction to the licensed trade on the bottom rung of the career ladder. “My first hospitality job was as a pot washer in a restaurant in Beverley when I was 16. It was in a little pub and it was mainly in the sink, drying them with a tea towel, so it was about as hands-on as you can get!”
“As soon as I was old enough, I got some hours covering the bar and I realised pretty much from start, those first couple of late nights at weekends, that it was what I wanted to do.
“I just really enjoyed the atmosphere of being behind the bar. I think it’s one of those jobs you’ve got to really love and be passionate about to do well in. It is hard work but it’s a fun job and as soon as I tried it I knew I didn’t want to do anything else.”
Darren progressed up the ladder and in October 2016 became assistant general manager at The Potting Shed, just months after it opened following a multi-million pound remodelling of the old Hodgsons pub.
Now as general manager he’s looking forward to helping shape the future of the bar and attracting new customers alongside those familiar faces.
“I think I arrived at the perfect time because it’s meant I’ve seen a full year since we opened so I’ve been able to get lots of ideas about how we can get even better.
“I love everything about the place though, especially the live music. There’s nowhere else in Beverley putting on what we do and I’m a big fan of the regular Shed Stocks. We’re lucky enough to be able to do those sort of things, and give something great back to our customers.”