Restaurant News

Rockpool Dining Group is no more

Five years after its blockbuster merger, the hospitality group once led by chef Neil Perry is splitting into two separate businesses.

By Yvonne C Lam
Thomas Pash and Neil Perry in 2017. Pash is the CEO of Hunter St Hospitality and Pacific Concepts; while Perry, Rockpool Dining Group's former culinary director, will remain a shareholder in both companies.
It's official. Rockpool Dining Group, the restaurant stable once led by culinary director Neil Perry, is no more, with the company splitting into two stand-alone businesses and scrubbing the Rockpool moniker from its umbrella name.
Premium restaurant brands including Rosetta, Spice Temple and Saké, as well flagship Rockpool Bar & Grill restaurants, will fall under the Hunter St Hospitality group.
Casual venues including Italian restaurant chain Fratelli Fresh, Mexican eateries El Camino Cantina, Bar Patrón (temporarily closed), The Bavarian, Munich Brauhaus, WingHAÜS, Beerhaüs and The Argyle will sit under the Pacific Concepts umbrella.
The restructure brings an end to the Rockpool Dining Group, formed in 2016 after a merger between Perry's Rockpool Group and Urban Purveyor Group (UPG), backed by Quadrant Private Equity.
At the time, the deal was described as one of the biggest in Australian hospitality, with UPG acquiring Perry's restaurant business for a reported $65 million.
The split looks different from the initial restructure announced in March 2020. Then, Neil Perry was slated to consciously uncouple from the Rockpool Dining Group and regain control of his signature restaurant brands including Rockpool Bar & Grill, Spice Temple and Rosetta.
However in July 2020, Perry "retired" as the group's culinary director and ambassador before announcing plans for his first solo restaurant in Sydney's Double Bay earlier this year.
Perry remains a stakeholder in both Hunter St Hospitality and Pacific Concepts and continues to lead food charity Hope Delivery, with support from Pacific Concepts, Hunter St Hospitality and Quadrant Private Equity.
In a statement Thomas Pash, CEO of Hunter St Hospitality and Pacific Concepts, said, "We are thrilled to be in a sound position to finally move the group forward as two separate entities, each with its own exciting journey ahead.
"I am excited to see Hunter St. Hospitality and Pacific Concepts become highly respected and successful companies in today's diverse and highly competitive hospitality landscape."
A company spokesperson confirmed it will be "business as usual", with employees unaffected by the restructure.
In 2018, Rockpool Dining Group was embroiled in a wage theft scandal that involved an investigation by the Fair Work Ombudsman, and the hospitality group back-paying workers $1.6 million in unpaid overtime wages.