Authentic: The Frog and Onion Pub was sold on January 1 to Phil Barnett’s Island Restaurant Group. Mr Barnett said the wait and floor staff are “excellent” and help draw in locals and visitors alike for their service. *Photo by Kageaki Smith
Authentic: The Frog and Onion Pub was sold on January 1 to Phil Barnett’s Island Restaurant Group. Mr Barnett said the wait and floor staff are “excellent” and help draw in locals and visitors alike for their service. *Photo by Kageaki Smith

FRIDAY, JAN. 11: Carol West has sold the Frog and Onion Pub to the Island Restaurant Group.

The Dockyard fixture will be joining the The Pickled Onion, Victoria Grill, Barracuda Grill and Hog Penny Pub as part of the IRG.

Philip Barnett, owner of the IRG, said Ms West approached him about purchasing the Frog and Onion.

“Carol and I have had a very good relationship coming back many, many years. She felt it was a good fit into our group.

“With her putting 20 years of serious labour and love into establishing the Frog and Onion as a great pub — and now brewery up at the west end — she was also keen on making sure that legacy continued.”

He said after talking over the details they ironed out a way to make the deal happen.

Mr Barnett praised the efforts of Ms West.

“She has done an incredible job. Some people might be concerned, but she’s not going anywhere. She is going to remain on the board of directors of the company. She will still be there nearly on a daily basis for the near future as there will be some transition issues.

“I’m very excited to have someone with so much professional experience sitting on the board to help advise us as to the best way forward.”

Mr Barnett said being a “Somerset guy” he has been to the Frog and Onion many times.

“The character of the restaurant is second to none. Disney pays millions of dollars to make fake places look like the authentic Royal Naval Dockyard.”

He said being located in the Cooperage Building “the ambiance and the feel is fantastic”.

Mr Barnett said that was a huge plus in looking at buying the restaurant.

“The staff that work there are an excellent bunch and there are a lot of individuals who have been there a while so there is a lot of continuity of service. They definitely share many of the same values that we have in our existing restaurants.”

He added the Frog and Onion helps fill the casual niche in restaurants.

“It is well positioned to serve the local clientele that live in the neighbourhood. It is a place where they can go and share a meal and enjoy a wonderful craft brewed beer.”

He said with Dockyard being Bermuda’s main cruise ship port, the restaurant is also able to appeal to many of the tourists coming off the boats to provide an authentic local meal. Mr Barnett said there is opportunity in getting cruise ship visitors to give them a try, especially as the Norwegian Breakaway makes its debut in Bermuda this year with over 6,000 passengers and crew on board.

“We have to make sure it’s a very local experience. What better way to make it a local experience than with craft brewed beers that are brewed right here in Dockyard. It’s Bermuda’s only adult product that’s brewed in Bermuda. It’s authentic, it’s local. It uses our authentic roof juice.”

He said the fact that most of the floor and wait staff are Bermudian, also adds an appeal to help those visitors rub elbows with locals.

“They can get a sense of where they are visiting by talking with them about Bermuda.”