Frog and Onion sold to Island Restaurant Group

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  • Changing hands: Restaurateur Carol West hands over the Frog & Onion in Dockyard to new owners Island Restaurant Group. She is pictured yesterday with IRG president Phil Barnett. (Photo by Glenn Tucker )

    Changing hands: Restaurateur Carol West hands over the Frog & Onion in Dockyard to new owners Island Restaurant Group. She is pictured yesterday with IRG president Phil Barnett. (Photo by Glenn Tucker )


The Frog and Onion Pub has changed hands after Island Restaurant Group bought the Dockyard restaurant from Carol West.

Ms West, who has run the Frog and Onion for 20 years, is looking to retire from the business but will remain on its board of directors.

“It was after some good conversation that Carol felt the best fit for the pub to move forward would be with Island Restaurant Group,” IRG president Philip Barnett said yesterday.

“So we have amalgamated Frog and Onion into IRG. Carol obviously has run an excellent restaurant for 20 years and we feel the fit and style of food and beverage and how it appeals to both locals and tourists extends our reach into a key market in the West End. It was a deal that just made sense on so many different fronts.”

Dockyard is the Island’s major cruise port, having several thousand passengers and crew visit a day during the summer season.

IRG’s takeover and operation of Frog and Onion comes with its sister company the Dockyard Brewing Company.

The brewery was part of NorthRock Brewery, until Ms West took over sole ownership in 2011. The brewery serves several unique styles of beer and ales brewed on-site by a master brewer from Newcastle, in the UK.

“We are thrilled to now represent those products and will start to feature them throughout our restaurants over the next little while,” Mr Barnett said. “The beer produced is completely unpasteurised, fresh beer and is the only adult beverage with a ‘made in Bermuda’ stamp on it.”

Mr Barnett said IRG would not be looking to mess with success, and was pleased with the chefs and staff at the Dockyard pub, but there would some tweaks here and there, and that IRG executive chef Derek Myers would be spending a considerable amount of time in the short term to oversee food production, until the new chef de cuisine arrives to take over the running of the kitchen.

He said IRG also wants to address seasonal issues of operating in Dockyard.

“As a resident of Somerset myself I look forward to spending time up there, both as head of IRG and as a customer with my family,” Mr Barnett said.

In an interview last year to mark 20 years in business, Ms West noted the pub served more than 20,000 of its famous Frog and Onion burgers each year.

She said cruise ship passengers had become the Frog and Onion’s main customer base.

“Without the cruise ships we probably wouldn’t be here, we’d be gone,” Ms West said. “I know some people say that cruise ships don’t bring anyone business but that’s not the case for us.”

She noted that back in 1992, everyone was against the idea of opening a restaurant in Dockyard, even the bank, as the West End area was not yet the tourist destination it is today.

The pub was built in an historic cooperage, which constructed barrels, casks and kegs and provisioned sailing ships from the 1850s.

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Published Jan 11, 2013 at 8:00 am (Updated Jan 10, 2013 at 7:02 pm)

Frog and Onion sold to Island Restaurant Group

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