Feeling hungry, Brisbane? Rockpool Dining Group, the entity formed last November following the acquisition ofNeil Perry's Rockpool Group by Urban Purveyor Group, has diners in the Queensland capital firmly in its sights.
The state's first Burger Project is due to spark up at South Bank's new Southpoint precinct on 17 February.
Neil Perry, head of culinary at Rockpool Dining Group, says there's plenty more in the pipeline, and not just the three or more additional Queensland-based Burger Projects already in the works, including a flagship Burger Project store slated for the city centre's Edward Street around May.
"We're super-excited about Brisbane. It's an important market for us. Our plans are not really all locked down yet, but we're really excited," says Perry.
Restaurant sites for both Spice Temple and Rockpool Bar & Grill are close to being finalised. "We're in negotiations on sites and expect in the next month or so we will have signed on those," Perry says. "Rockpool Bar & Grill and Spice Temple are definitely heading up to Brisbane and should be there early next year."
The group recently revealed it would kick off a new concept between Rockpool Dining Group and Urban Craft Brewing Co, the Group's brewing business, at the King's Co-op in the Brisbane Showgrounds, Spring Hill, in the revamped former home of the Royal Snack Bar. It's due to open in time for the annual Royal Queensland Show (Ekka) in August.
Kings Co-op is a mixed precinct being built on the site of the showgrounds' Sugar Building and Dairy Industry Hall, part of a 15-year $2.9 billion regeneration project.
"It's a fantastic space," says Perry. There will be a microbrewery with a restaurant and beer hall. It will be a fun place for Brisbane to hang out and will feature beers made onsite by Urban Craft Brewing Co, our brewing business, as well as other beers."
Perry says he's working on a bar menu but the focus will be on the quality of the beer. "That will be a big focus. They'll be made onsite so you really won't be able to get fresher, and Brisbane is pretty famous for enjoying a cold one on a hot day," he says.
Rockpool Dining Group controls 15 brands, including Japanese diner Saké and the Bavarian Bier Café, which both have locations at Brisbane's Eagle Street Pier and on the Gold Coast at Broadbeach. The group's fast-casual pizza eatery Fratelli Famous also opened at Eagle Street Pier in December.
"I've recently just taken responsibility for Saké as well," says Perry. "We're going to build on the foundations that have been laid but we're also looking at dialling up the menu. It has a great position there on the wharf."