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Rockit Ranch Productions Rockit Ranch Productions
Sunda opened in Nashville this year and has potential for growth, says owner Billy Dec.

2018 RH 25: Rockit Ranch Productions

Splitting with partners in the name of creative freedom

The 2018 class of Restaurant Hospitality's annual RH 25 looks at bold moves made by multiconcept operators — the companies that are crossing segments, shifting operations, building big or pivoting in some way. There is no ranking. These are companies to watch. See all concepts >>

HQ: Chicago

Leadership: Billy Dec, CEO/founder

Systemwide sales FY2017: Not disclosed

Concepts: Sunda (2), Rockit Burger Bar and Underground

It’s been a year or so of transition for Billy Dec, whose Rockit Ranch Productions opened a second location of the concept Sunda in Nashville, Tenn., earlier this year.

Rockit Ranch Productions

Dec meanwhile in July split from partners in the Chicago-based group, divvying up venues, and leaving the Rockit Bar with former co-owner Brad Young. Former partner Kevin Hickey separated from the company last year, taking the Duck Inn with him. And the group closed the smaller venues Otto Mezzo and Bottlefork.

It was all amicable, said Dec. The move will enable Dec to pursue various creative endeavors, such as a docu-series on his travels to the Philippines, where he has roots.

With Sunda Nashville, Dec is partnering with Fresh Hospitality, which serves as advisor and investor in that restaurant. But now Dec is the sole owner of Rockit Ranch Productions.  It’s a lot of risk, he said, but fundamentally he feels good about realigning the company with his DNA.

“I just feel hospitality and entertainment in general is rapidly evolving and changing,” he said. “I really wanted to be nimble and unconventional.”

Next: Lettuce Entertain You Enterprises

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