The new 80-cover restaurant, situated in a former Methodist Church in Westbourne, Dorset, opened its doors to customers yesterday and is part of major expansion plans for the group founded by chef Nick Atkins, Jeremy Brown and wine expert Jonny Townsend.
The ethos behind Rock, which started life as an events catering business before opening restaurants in Raynes Park and Wimborne in Dorset, is to serve modern British food in a relaxed environment. All produce for its menus are sourced form local suppliers where possible.
Atkins plans to spend the first two months with the restaurant's kitchen team to perfect the menu and train staff before leaving the kitchens to the management of head chef Daniel Small.
"The key to a good restaurant is that the client's experience is the same each time they visit Rock regardless of who is behind the stove," he said.
Rock Westbourne is one of four restaurants planned to open under the brand in the next 12 months. The company is currently looking for two more sites in the south.