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Top Billing visits Rockets, the Best Restaurant of the Year

Top Billing visits Rockets, the Best Restaurant of the Year

 Five years after opening the hugely successful Rockets in Parkhurst, restaurateur Sean Barber, clearly decided that he needed a challenge. He wanted South Africans who travel abroad to return home, proud that no other city boasts a place like this – and interior designer Wesley Bremer was the man to help him build it.

Sean’s emphasis on such creative surrounds is interesting given that he is a qualified chartered accountant. He sticks to golden rules like watching your gross profit percentage and that it’s way more important than turnover. So, for him to invest on such a scale, he must know his market well.

Built on Feng shui principles, the building has rose quartz laid into its foundations and every space is arranged for the correct, gentle flow of energy.

The showstoppers are the murals. The double volume Cherokee image was painted around a ninety-degree corner, on raw cement - so mistakes could not be painted over. In other words, there was no room for error. To carry out Sean’s Native American theme he turned to friend and muralist Justin Badenhorst.

As Justin created them, Sean curated each of the artworks. From the building process to running his restaurant, central to his success is always being there, even on the quiet days.

Staying ahead in the restaurant trade makes it easy to burn out but Sean’s passion is time at home with his wife Silvia and three children. So, he returns to work with fresh eyes and infectious enthusiasm.

The personality of Rockets is drawn very much from the character of Joburg’s people. Sean creates spaces for the sociable, warm interaction which he sees as central to the nature of this city.
A growing number of customers find this space to be a place of work away from work and they have joined as members.

It is the food and service which won Sean’s team this year’s awards for Best New Restaurant and Best Restaurant overall.

Next on Sean’s list is to open one of these on the ocean. Where exactly, we’ll have to wait and see.

Watch the preview:

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