Neil Perry is knee-deep in negotiations with Urban Purveyor Group owner Quadrant Private Equity regarding the acquisition of his iconic restaurant group, but the chef is also quietly plotting his next venue: a seafood restaurant.
Perry has broken his silence on negotiations regarding the sale of his group which includes three Rockpool Bar and Grill (Sydney, Melbourne and Perth), plus two Spice Temples, a handful of Burger Projects and his just-opened Eleven Bridge.
Rockpool Bar & Grill Photo: Supplied
"It's really more of a merger than a buyout. I'm not selling out, I'd retain equity and stay involved," he tells Good Food. "Due diligence is under way. We'll know in the next week or two if it's happening, but until it is done [the deal] we're really just talking hot air," he adds.
Still, Perry quips the timing is perfect "given I'm going to be sixty in a minute" and explains he was attracted to the proposal because it would extend him the capital to do "the thing I love to do", which is open new restaurants. It's a creative muscle he is currently flexing with his next project.
A younger Perry at Blue Water Grill, Bondi Photo: supplied
"I love seafood. Blue Water Grill at Bondi [in the 1980s] was my biggie," he says. East Coasters won't have it on their doorstep this time. Rumours he'll launch the seafood restaurant in Western Australia are on the money. "We haven't signed the deal yet, but we're working with Crown about it going into the new Crown Towers in Perth," he says.