Top chef Alex in ‘homecoming’ as Co Down hostelry undergoes major refurb

Whiterock facilitates £100,000 loan for the Bucks Head Inn in Dundrum

Buck's Head
The Bucks Head owners Alex Greene and Bronagh McCormick with British Business Bank's nations and regions investment funds director Mark Sterritt and Whiterock Investment director Una Warnock

Top chef Alex Greene has “come home” after taking ownership with Bronagh McCormick of the Bucks Head Inn in Dundrum.

The British Business Bank has announced the first deal from the Investment Fund for Northern Ireland after fund manager Whiterock facilitated a £100,000 loan to the popular Co Down restaurant, bar and guesthouse, which has undergone a major refurbishment ahead of its grand re-opening later this month.

And it marks a homecoming for talented Dundrum chef Greene, who began his career aged just 12 washing dishes and preparing vegetables in the Bucks Head.

He went on to work in restaurants around the world including Michelin star establishments, most recently at Deanes EIPIC where he was head chef.

He also starred in two seasons of the Great British Menu and has appeared in the BBC series B&B By The Sea.

At Deane, Alex worked alongside his business partner Bronagh, who was general manager of the Deanes Restaurant Group for 13 years. Bronagh has a hospitality degree and has spent her whole career working within the hospitality sector.

The Investment Fund for Northern Ireland loan is being utilised across a number of areas within the business, including the refurbishment of the premises, a new kitchen, an upgrade of three upstairs guestrooms, and the recruitment of staff.

Bronagh said the timing was right for her and Alex to make the move to Dundrum.

She said: “The Bucks Head is somewhere which means a great deal to Alex and, as the previous owners were retiring, we felt the time was right to go into business together.

“Dating back to the eighteenth century, the Bucks Head is extremely well known and is thought of very highly, both locally and further afield – everyone we speak to seems to have a story about the place.

“We see the Bucks Head as having enormous potential. It is a venue which is full of charm and character, and we are really looking forward to getting started.

“The Investment Fund for Northern Ireland loan has supported us in bringing our vision for the Bucks Head to life and driving the next stage of growth.

Alex Greene
Alex Greene pictured during his stint on the BBC series B&B By The Sea

“We found the team at Whiterock very accommodating to work with and the process was straight-forward and efficient. We are delighted with how everything went so smoothly.”

The £70m fund offers a range of commercial finance options including debt finance and equity investment to support businesses from all sectors in Northern Ireland and at different growth stages.

Whiterock manages the debt fund, offering loans of £25,000 up to £2m while Clarendon Fund Managers provide equity stakes in smaller businesses up to £5m.