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Evolving Casa Group: shareholders depart or seek to reduce holdings as new managers take over

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William, Nathan and James at Cena

It’s all change at Casa Group: new management is moving in while some shareholders depart or seek to reduce their stake. Co-owner James Bradshaw said a new head chef and bar manager have been employed along with two consultants. Shareholder Nathan Fleck is moving to Sydney with his fiancée and their new baby, but will retain his shareholding. Philip Bradshaw is discussing selling a part of his stake to the new management consultant.

“Within two weeks everyone will see changes at both restaurants (Casa and Cena)” James said.

The new management consultant will have a significant role. We will call him Joe, because he says his consultancy with another group precludes him going public. Joe likes to talk big. He said he took a look at the Casa group and “I threw everything in the bin because it was that f—-ing awful.” Regulars at Casa and Cena will tell Joe he is talking cow dodo. The restaurants are the best in town for value for money among quality Western places. The food is quirky, eclectic, healthy and cheap. Japanese cabbage cakes are $35. Last time at Cena we had tasty pork and mango tacos with our beer for $20. Of course Joe is just talking up his talents.

Another thing good at Casa is it’s all home-grown and continues that way. Among the founders, the Bradshaws are Sai Kung people (although Philip now lives in Tokyo), so is Nathan. The new head chef, William Chambers, resides at Wong Chuk Wan as does the bar manager, Jim Harrison. Joe lives at Po Lo Che. Yet to be mentioned is an affable character called David Romaine, who lives above Classified in the central square. David is to be marketing consultant.

James, perhaps Casa’s main creative force along with Nathan, said he will divide his time between directing the group’s affairs and Winerack online retailing, where he is a co-owner. (Winerack’s stores are owned by Andy Konrad and his wife Marrian.)

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Nathan and Eve

The cold grey and white minimalist design of Casa restaurant, which is in the same alleyway as Winerack, will remain, James said. Chef Chambers, who has been developing his experience in Barcelona, will upgrade the tapas-style menu. At Cena the Latin-look décor will be tweaked and a new family-oriented menu of 20 core main dishes created, Joe said.

We asked James why he feels they need a management consultant: “Because he will bring method to my madness.”

And some good news: Nathan will marry Isla, with whom he recently produced a baby, Eve, in Bali in July.

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