‘The Oak House’ restaurant gives a delicious nod to the past in Sheffield’s Chapeltown
“Traditional is a big part of what we’re doing at The Oak House,” co-owner Steve Beauchamp says of the new Chapeltown restaurant.
The building, which was originally built in 1780, was The Royal Oak pub until 2013 – a name the new owners decided to pay homage to when they opened its doors earlier this year. The 40-seater restaurant serves up a host of British and European cuisine and was created specifically to bring a little city-centre fine dining to Chapeltown.
“We wanted somewhere cosy and secluded with a nice indulgent menu,” Steve explains.
“We have a small menu with just a handful of starters, mains, and desserts, which we change every six weeks.
“When we moved in, we found plain white walls, and we’ve taken everything darker, put down oak flooring, and really embraced that traditional English feel. Instead of taking taxis into the city centre, and paying city prices, we wanted to have something really nice here in Chapeltown, and so far we’ve found a captive audience.”
Steve confirmed there has been a steady swell of people through the door since he and partner Rob Lake opened the restaurant on May 3.
Steak, fishcakes, lamb shank, scallops, and chicken on the bone have all graced the menu so far – with plenty of vegan and vegetarian options – and only fresh, local produce.
“My favourite thing on the menu at the minute is a fantastic shrimp cocktail,” says Steve, who describes the moment he was introduced to business partner Rob as a ‘meeting of the minds.’
“We come from completely different backgrounds,” he adds.
“I come from sales, building and design, and Rob worked as operations manager for Zizi’s for 10 years, having done everything from waiter, to chef, to manager, to area manager.
“We’ve been good friends for the past 20 years, and really bounce off each other. Together we had a great vision for what we wanted to create, and just decided that now was the time.”
The restaurant is BYOB, with a corkage fee of just £1.50. Of that, £1 is donated to Sheffield Children’s Hospital, and 50p goes into the staff’s tip jar.
But if you were thinking of grabbing the kids and jumping in the car, you may want to hold on just a moment.
“While we will always accommodate families, we do prefer an adult clientele,” Steve says.
“We do have people come earlier in the evening and bring their children, but generally we’re offering a more mature experience. Every restaurant has to make a choice of which way they’re going to go, and in our case we wanted to create a more romantic spot, where adults can relax and enjoy each other’s company.”
The restaurant opens Wednesday to Saturday and, starting in September, will open once a month on a Sunday.
“We have big plans for things we’d like to do going forwards, in terms of bringing in live music, expanding, and opening other restaurants.
“For now though, we hope people enjoy the experience of The Oak House as much as we’ve enjoyed creating it.”