AC/DC star's restaurant ready to rock

By Annemarie Quill

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Tauranga-based AC/DC drummer Phil Rudd is opening the doors of his restaurant at the Bridge Marina tomorrow for a private dinner party.

Phil's Place will open to the public on Tuesday.

"I am excited to be opening. It is going to be a fun place to eat great food and hang out. It is not pretentious; we are not interested in the 'scene', just a good night out and superb dining experience," Rudd said.

Maitre'd Daniel Rodgers-Purdie said the restaurant was already proving popular.

"We are booked up every weekend until Christmas."

The private opening tomorrow was not the huge party originally planned, Rudd said.

"I haven't invited the band all at once due to schedules but they will be coming to eat soon. I don't want to do the big opening but keep it soft at the beginning in the run-up to Christmas and summer.

"If you're coming here to see Nicky Watson, forget it. It is a quiet, each to your own place. Sure, make some noise and have a good time, but it is not somewhere you come to be seen."

The restaurant has undergone extensive refurbishment since Rudd bought it in August. The walls are decked in black and gold flecked wall paper, and a raised floor houses Rudd's drum kit. A real fireplace, dark wood tables and black suede chairs give a rock star feel. Above the fireplace, sit previously unseen AC/DC memorabilia. A jagged brick wall partially separates the bar area from the restaurant. Around the bar, stools and sofas with AC/DC tool boxes perched around.

There is also a private function room and Rudd has bought the workman's cafe on the other side of the restaurant which he intends to turn into part of the restaurant.

"We have development plans but will see how it goes over summer."

The restaurant seats 120 including 60 outside and will be open from 11.30am to 1am.

Chef Cody Hogg has prepared an extensive lunch and dinner menu which includes a set menu, buffet option, and tapas. There is even a Christmas Day menu including truffle-stuffed turkey.

"We want locals to come and the menu is priced accordingly but there are special items for those occasions when you do want crayfish and champagne, you can get it here," Rudd said.

Nathan Blake is bar manager and general manager is Leo Roberts.

Locals wishing to book can contact Mr Rodgers-Purdie on 07 574 4147.

Since the Bay of Plenty Times broke the news in August that Rudd had bought the restaurant, the paper has been inundated with interest from the public, not just in Tauranga but around the world. The story remained in the most read stories on bayofplentytimes.co.nz for more than a month.

- Bay of Plenty Times

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