Rise: The new café bar by the river in West Bay
PUBLISHED: 14:37 01 April 2019
Nikki Cooper, one of the founders of The Stable, reveals why Rise – their exciting new venture by the river in West Bay – encapsulates their foodie family values
Richard and Nikki Cooper have a stellar reputation in the hospitality industry. Back in 2006 they bought The Bull Hotel in Bridport, within a year of opening it was listed in The Times top 100 hotels in the world. In 2009 they bought the stable block at the back of the former coaching inn and opened The Stable Bar and Restaurant offering a delicious celebration of West Country produce on a pizza accompanied by an array of local ciders. They sold The Bull to Fullers, Smith and Turner PLC in 2013, and in 2018 sold their final shares in The Stable, which now has 17 establishments across the country.
Last spring Richard and Nikki (along with Andy Briggs and Kyle Clarke who were heavily involved in The Stable), opened Swim, a restaurant on the beach at Lyme Regis. More recently they took over The Riverside in West Bay, and after a major refurbishment of this great location they opened Rise.
What’s the story behind Rise?
When rumours reached us that The Riverside might be up for grabs we couldn’t resist. We’ve enjoyed many happy family meals at this beautiful location. We thrive on projects where we can create special places for people to enjoy fabulous food – it is part of our family culture. We wanted to combine all of these elements in West Bay and create a relaxed informal café bar for breakfast, brunch, lunch, supper or coffee on the river’s edge.
How did you create that relaxed ambience?
We created its laid back vibe using a mix of woods, ethnic soft furnishings and loads of plants. The open kitchen pass brings the chefs into the restaurant which customers love. There are USB points scattered around for laptop work, and dogs are most welcome. We have great music playlists and live music or DJs on a Friday night. The windows have been replaced with large glass panels that open onto a raised deck with a high glass balustrade, so customers can sit outside and enjoy the location protected from the sea breeze.
What is the ethos behind your menus?
Andy Briggs (Richard’s brother) was the driving force behind it. He also created the menus for The Stable. There is an Asian vibe to many of the dishes, a multitude of burgers which are incredibly popular, fresh seafood specials and healthy vitality salads. All our bread, burger brioche buns, pastries and cakes are made daily at Swim, by our baker.
Tell me about your favourite signature dishes at Rise?
Goodness, where to start! Tokyo ribs, miso chicken wings, Longhorn beef from Long Bredy and Lyme Bay fish specials often with an Asian influence. In summer there are fruit de mer platters and local lobster and chips. Amongst our vegan options is a great vegan burger we have created, delicious healthy whole bowls and a massaman curry. We also have gluten free options including burgers and puddings. The talented Rise kitchen team includes Nick Larcombe who worked at The Riverside for over 25 years and Stefan Brown who was with us at The Bull. Their daily fish specials are exceptional.
So what would you choose?
I always opt for the calamari or hake with an Asian salad. Richard generally opts for the Longhorn burger and our children head for the nachos and miso chicken wings. I really enjoy ‘taste testing’ our daily specials particularly the fish and seafood dishes which, given our seaside location, is very much what Rise is all about.
Find more at risecafebar.co.uk or call 01308 422011 to book.