OSSINING, N.Y. -- For Scott Ryan, the opening of his new Ossining restaurant, 6 Degrees Of Separation Restaurant and Brewery was a surreal experience.
The restaurant, at 35 Main St. is the culmination of a long in the works project by Ryan, an Ossining resident, who teaches science at Ardsley Middle School.
Ryan has been brewing his own beer for 25 years, and in 2014, revealed his goal of opening a brewery and restaurant in Ossining.
On Dec. 17, Ryan finally got to see his dream come true, officially opening 6 Degrees to the public. While 6 Degrees is having a soft opening as it awaits a liquor license, Ryan is excited to have people enjoying his beer while munching on wings, burgers, and pork bellies.
"When we got the awning in front of the restaurant, that's when it felt real," Ryan, a first-time restaurateur said. "We have a home. It's been really satisfying, once we get the liquor license, it will be complete. When we opened Saturday, I thought- is this really happening?
Ryan admitted he got emotional when they passed their Department of Health inspection.
Ryan was vacationing at Disney World when he got the call that McSorley's in Ossining had closed and the space was available. Ryan and his team worked to renovate the spot and get the restaurant ready to open.
"People's jaws are dropping when they see what it looks like," Ryan said. "It's been a long road, but a great learning process."
6 Degrees is hoping to be a celebration of what Ossining has to offer. Located near the train station, the walls feature photos from the Ossining Historical Society.
"We want people to learn about Ossining and see what Ossining is," Ryan said. "You can come here, get a meal and get back on the train. We want to be your neighborhood place."
Ryan picked the bar's name based on his belief that everyone is connected via six people.
"In Westchester, it's more like two degrees of separation," Ryan said. "That's the vibe I want. I want people to come in and get connected. I want people to talk to each other."
In keeping with the neighborhood vibe, Ryan does not plan to keep late hours, currently staying open until 10 p.m. He also plans on applying for a cabaret license so he can host live music and spotlight local Ossining artists. Ryan said he has really appreciated the support from the Ossining community.
"It's been overwhelming," Ryan said. "We want to give back to the community and be involved with community outreach.
Running a restaurant is a full-time job, but Ryan plans to continue teaching at Ardsley. One of his partners, Glenn Sayers is also a teacher at Ardsley. So far, Ryan thinks they are up for the task.
"We have a great staff on board," Ryan said. "We're coordinating days off with each other and we're not open that late. I think I'll be able to balance it."
Once they get the liquor license, 6 Degrees will offer its full assortment of beers, from IPAs to Aqueduct Ale to Smoked Porter. The menu will offer recommendations to help pair the food with the right beer. And in keeping with the community vibe, Ryan plans to promote local brewers and feature their beers on tap.
When it comes to the food, Ryan, a wing aficionado, stands by his sauces, calling them phenomenal. Sayers said the pork belly sliders are so good, his wife took one bite and almost divorced him to marry the chef.
Ryan said he looks forward to having the community involved in every step of the evolution of 6 Degrees.
"I gave birth to the idea, but it's going to take a village," Ryan said.
For more information, visit www.6degreesbp.com or contact 914-432-5969.