The former Mechanics Institute Darlington, built in 1854 is now home to The Keys Restaurant and Institute Nightclub.

After an extensive refurbishment to the grade II listed building - The Keys opened its doors in November 2014. The large restaurant area is perfect for dining, group dining & hire for any occasion.

At The Keys Darlington, you'll find a range of seasonal menus available, with freshly delivered and prepared ingredients - you'll be sure to find a dish to suit your taste. At The Keys Darlington, we also believe that the drinks selection is just as important as the food.


Serving Times

Breakfast Menu: 9am - 12pm (Mon - Fri) and 9am - 11.30am (Sat - Sun)  
Main Menu: 12 - 8pm (Mon - Sat)
Early Bird Menu: 3pm - 7pm (Mon - Fri)
Sunday Lunch: 12pm - 6pm (Sun Only)


Opening Times

The Restaurant is open from 9am with last orders being taken at 9pm.
On Sunday we serve from 9am with last orders for food at 6pm


About Us

The Keys is a local business which is owned and managed by members of the Powell family who believe in giving back to the communities who have helped them become so successful. In addition to employing from the local labour force and using Teesside small businesses wherever possible in our supply chain, we are also passionate in our support of three local charities.

We are Commercial Patrons of the Teesside Philanthropic Society, a registered charity, set up by Teessiders for Teessiders. They help businesses and individuals join together to make Middlesbrough and Teesside better places in which to live, work and do business.

We are also corporate sponsors of the Teesside Family Foundation a Local Charity caring passionately about TEESSIDE and its people, helping local people where it really counts.

Finally, Butterwick Hospice Care who have recently been given a donation of over £30,000. The cash boost was a joint donation from The Keys along with Cleveland Cable Company. Making us the first ever Corporate Patrons of Butterwick Hospice, a new honour for businesses which have given the charity exceptional help.

Alastair Powell said “Butterwick is a local charity and we’re a local business. I was born and bred in the area and want to do whatever we can to help such a worthwhile cause. We have a workforce of more than seven hundred people.  All of them have heard of the Butterwick or will know someone who has been helped by the hospice over the years.  I’m delighted to become the first hospice patron.” 

Butterwick Corporate Partnership Manager Anne Cooling. “This is incredible generosity from Alastair. He’s now our first ever Corporate Patron and we hope there will be many more in the years ahead.”

Afternoon Tea

From their introduction in 2015, our afternoon teas have become the best-selling items. They provide a great way to catch up with friends or the perfect treat to celebrate birthdays, baby showers and the like. 

  • Adults - £12.95 per person
  • Children - £5.95 per child
  • Something to celebrate? We offer a Champagne Afternoon Tea or a Cocktail Afternoon Tea at additional prices. Contact our Restaurant for more information: 01325 394222

Upon booking afternoon tea, we require 24 hours notice and bookings made online need to make The Keys aware prior to your visit that you require afternoon tea. Please note that we require a deposit of £5 per person for parties that have 4 or more guests. 

See our PDF

Upcoming Events.

Monday 10th December

Dirty Dancing Experience

'Nobody puts Baby in the corner' and nobody should miss out on this spectacular dance class themed around the much loved film and now hit musical, Dirty Dancing! 

This Christmas why not get yourself down to The Keys and learn to wiggle like Patrick Swayze and bounce like Baby! You'll learn salsa, the cha-cha-cha and other 60's themed dance moves. Your group will swoon and swing throughout! Your professional dance instructor will have you dirty dancing in no time with a fully fledged group dance routine at the end 

Think you've got what it takes? 

  • Ticket Only - £25.00
  • Ticket and Three Course Meal - £40.00

For more information, see our Facebook page event 

Email our Events Team to book your place - events@thekeys.co.uk 

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