From Monday May 3, the Rockpool Dining Group will cease to exist. And its different restaurants and drinking establishments will be split across two stand-alone businesses units: Hunter St Hospitality and Pacific Concepts.
Its premium restaurants will now fall under the name of Hunter St Hospitality – that’s Rockpool Bar and Grill, Rosetta Ristorante, Spice Temple, and Saké Restaurant & Bar. While the remaining businesses – Fratelli Fresh, El Camino Cantina, Bar Patrón, The Bavarian, Munich Brauhaus, Winghaüs, Beerhaüs and The Argyle – will now come under the name of Pacific Concepts. As a consequence, the Rockpool Dining Group name and business will be discontinued.
Hunter St Hospitality and Pacific Concepts will continue to be owned by Quadrant Private Equity and it says the changes will become evident on their social channels over the coming weeks. It has businesses in New South Wales, Victoria, Queensland, South Australia, Perth and the ACT, as well as Auckland in New Zealand.
The news follows the retirement of the group’s culinary director and ambassador, Neil Perry, from the business in July 2020 during the height of the Covid lockdowns and disruptions. At the time Perry, who remains a shareholder, said the business needed to embark on a new chapter and it was time for a fresh start.
“It will never be easy to move on from the restaurants I founded, and I do so with a heavy heart, but as the business and the sector set their sights on new beginnings, it is the right time for the next generation to have the opportunity afforded to me over 40 years ago,” he said.
The Rockpool Dining Group was formed in 2016, when Urban Purveyor Group acquired Perry’s hospitality business. Last March Perry announced he would part ways with Urban Purveyor Group and regain control over the premium restaurants he created as part of the Rockpool empire: Rockpool Bar and Grill, Spice Temple, and Rosetta. He was on track to take back those restaurants but then the pandemic halted everything.
He’s since announced he is going to open a restaurant in Sydney's Double Bay, which is slated for June.
Rockpool Dining Group said today that during its years of operation, prior to Covid-19, it grew from 17 venues to more than 80, and from $150 million in revenue to more than $400 million.
“The rapid expansion saw the group’s premium and casual pillars become large businesses in their own right. As the group emerges stronger from the Covid pandemic, Hunter St Hospitality and Pacific Concepts are well positioned to stand independently, to take full advantage of new opportunities, and to execute their respective business and growth strategies,” today’s statement said.
Pacific Concepts will continue to grow its brands in Australia and New Zealand, as well as expand its dark kitchens (delivery-only kitchens) across its network.