And everyone’s welcome – including his AC/DC bandmates. Bay Of Plenty Times reports the restaurant - named “Phil's Place” - will celebrate its opening with a launch party mid-September. Rudd took over The Bridge Bistro and Bar last month. The restaurant, on the edge of the bridge marina, with views to Mount Maunganui, has had a complete overhaul of the interior which has been personally overseen by Rudd.
Rudd promises a fine dining experience in private booths, with a range of steak and seafood. "We have completely re-kitted the inside. I want it to be more than a restaurant - a whole dining experience. I have focused on the visuals, the sound, the smell and of course the taste. Most of all, 'the feel'. It will be a place that will blow your mind."
Rudd has lived in Tauranga for the past 28 years. Born in Australia, he left AC/DC in 1983 and retired to New Zealand; he rejoined the band in 1994. "I do want to give back to the community, and have plans which I think will really give a boost to the local economy. The restaurant is just the first step," Rudd said. He has other business plans for the Bay in the offing, and said the restaurant is just the first step in this stage. "Plan B, well that's going to blow your mind even more."
If Tauranga sounds familiar, it was where Rudd was busted for possession of marijuana last fall after police searched Rudd's launch, moored at Tauranga Bridge Marina, on October 7, 2010 and found 25g of cannabis onboard.
The drummer pleaded guilty to the charge and was fined $250 in December after failing in his bid for a discharge without conviction. The judge discharged Rudd without conviction subject to him paying $1500 to cover the prosecution's legal costs.