News > Business

Rock restaurant group to expand after securing funding from Colonial Leisure Group

By Emma Eversham , 11-Oct-2012
Last updated the 11-Oct-2012 at 17:31 GMT

Related topics: Business, Venues, People, Restaurants, Pubs & Bars

Rock, the pub and dining group and events catering company set up by chef Nick Atkins, Jonny Townsend, and Jeremy Brown, has received a 'sizeable cash injection' from Australian leisure business Colonial Leisure Group (CLG) to help it expand the business across the south. 

Rock Raynes Park, the first of many Rock venues for Rock CLG

Rock Raynes Park, the first of many Rock venues for Rock CLG

Since receiving the funding, the company, whose first site opened in Raynes Park, south west London earlier this year, has secured two more sites in Dorset and is looking to open a further three in Dorset and Hampshire over the next year. 

Group plans

Rock CLG, as it will now be known, will aim to operate a number of restaurants under the Rock name, principally in the south east, but with each site having its own identity.

Restaurants will serve seasonal menus using products sourced locally where possible and design-wise will be an 'elegant blend of contemporary & shabby chic'. 

Its second venue, Rock Wimbourne, a restaurant with rooms, will open later this month, followed by Rock Westbourne, a bar and dining room, which is set to open its doors in November. 

Atkins said he was looking forward to pushing forward with the plans. “We consider ourselves very fortunate to have Colonial Leisure on board. Not only has it allowed us to move forward with opening two new restaurant doors, we can already see the benefits that their contacts and business skills are going to our venture," he said.

Investment

CLG's managing director Chris Holleyoak said he had decided to invest in Rock after employing them to cater at a number of events at CLG's wedding and conference venue Pennsylvania Castle in Dorset. 

"From the first time we worked with Rock we just knew they was something special about them," he said. "Fantastic food delivered with creativity and flair and supported by a service second to none has made Rock Food and Events our first choice of caterer and event managers at The Penn.

“When we heard they were looking for funding for their new venture Rock Restaurants, we were keen to explore the opportunity. We are delighted that we’ve found a way to support them both financially and strategically and look forward to sharing in the success of this exciting new venture.”  

Australian-based CLG was founded by Chris Morris and owns a growing portfolio of leisure properties in Australia, including Orpheus Island, off the Great Barrier Reef, which is also a World Heritage site. The company is also looking to expand its portfolio of leisure venues in the UK after acquiring Pennsylvania Castle. 

BigHighlights

Mark Poynton: Pearls of Wisdom

Mark Poynton: Pearls of Wisdom

The British chef-patron of the Michelin-starred Alimentum and star of Great British Menu Mark Poynton talks about...

Interview with Glendola Leisure's Alexander Salussolia
Small Talk

Alexander Salussolia on Silk & Grain, market niches and nurturing future talent

Managing director of Glendola Leisure Alexander Salussolia joined the company in 1992 as an area manager, before...

60-Second Skill: Using #foodporn to your advantage

60-Second Skill: Using #foodporn to your advantage

Customers posting pictures of your food on social media is a trend you can't escape, but by...

Gallery: the UK’s first experiential craft brewery Drygate Brewing Co.

Gallery: the UK’s first experiential craft brewery

New Glasgow venture Drygate Brewing Co. claims to be the UK’s first experiential craft brewery, offering a...

Hospitality Openings: June 2014

Hospitality Openings: June 2014

Our latest round of up of the hottest hospitality openings includes Heston Blumenthal’s Heathrow venture The Perfectionists’ Café,...

60-Second Skill: Pouring champagne

60-Second Skill: Pouring champagne

As demonstrated at the Moet UK Sommelier of the Year competition, champagne pouring requires skills and knowledge....

Find us on Facebook

Digital Edition - Restaurant Magazine

Access to the Restaurant Magazine digital edition