The Rockstone, Onslow Road, Southampton

Daily Echo: The Rockstone The Rockstone

A COUNTRY pub in the heart of the city – that was Max Greenwood’s aim when he opened The Rockstone last month.

And with its wood panelling, roaring fire, notable absence of TVs showing sport or a jukebox and the warm welcome everyone gets, it’s fair to say he has succeeded.

Max bought the pub – which used to be called the Bevois Castle, in Onslow Road, Bevois Valley, in November 2010 and it took a year to complete its transformation into The Rockstone.

But there is more to being a country-style pub than just the atmosphere – there’s the menu.

Food is at the heart of this pub and it’s not just any food: it’s local food.

Around 80 per cent of the food on the menu is from Hampshire and of the food that isn’t most of it is British.

Local food has always been close to Max’s heart.

“It wouldn’t have any appeal if we were using mass-produced ingredients,” says the 29-yearold who is also the pub’s executive chef.

“If I had to use boxed up ingredients and things like frozen burgers, my heart wouldn’t be in it – it’s not something you can get excited about.”

For Max, local food appeals on a number of levels.

As someone who has always been passionate about cooking, he loves working with top quality ingredients and being able to be creative with fresh produce.

“You can put a personal touch on it, you know where it comes from, feel part of the community and a chain that’s supporting other local businesses,”

he explains.

“We’re able to offer better quality to our customers without it having to be at a high price.”

Because Max works directly with producers he is able to offer his customers an unusual service.

“We can do special requests,” he explains.

“For example, we don’t have lobster on the menu yet but we can order it in and have it 24 hours later.”

At the moment food makes up around 55 per cent of the business at the Bevois Valley pub, which is already a popular evening venue and Max is hoping to attract more lunchtime diners to increase that percentage still further.

And while his biggest sellers – such as Hampshire pork ribs and a sausage sharer platter – are meat, he is looking to increase for vegetarians and vegans.

The pub has special nights, such as two steak meals for £10 on Wednesdays, with a full menu also available, and has just launched Sunday roasts.

“I have always wanted this to be a food-led pub,” says Max.

Food is my passion.”

The Rockstone
63 Onslow Road,
Bevois Valley,
Southampton.
therockstone.co.uk.

Comments (15)

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3:16am Tue 17 Jan 12

Manfredcockcharms says...

Yes... Well it all sounds awesome until you find uncooked food on your plate after waiting aprox 45 mins.. This bar has an astonishing amount of good ideas, however good ideas are nothing unless they can be put to use... Very much a case of a short lived whim here I'm sure, only a few REAL pubs left in town but this is very much an over priced and particularly doomed ship passing in the night...
Yes... Well it all sounds awesome until you find uncooked food on your plate after waiting aprox 45 mins.. This bar has an astonishing amount of good ideas, however good ideas are nothing unless they can be put to use... Very much a case of a short lived whim here I'm sure, only a few REAL pubs left in town but this is very much an over priced and particularly doomed ship passing in the night... Manfredcockcharms
  • Score: 0

4:30am Tue 17 Jan 12

Purple pickle says...

This is a fantastic pub & I think that the amount of custom it's getting reflects this... I've been there 3 or 4 times & there are always plenty of people there & it has a great atmosphere... Plenty of people I know frequent it a lot more than I do & are more than happy with not only the food but the service as well... In responce to the above comment... If you found the service & food to be indaquate why not raise it with the landlord instead of sniping about it long after the event?! I think such comments are gratuitous especially as this is an establishment that is just finding it's feet! I commend Mr. Greenwood on all that he is doing for the local community & for the success of this endeavor... Long may it last!
This is a fantastic pub & I think that the amount of custom it's getting reflects this... I've been there 3 or 4 times & there are always plenty of people there & it has a great atmosphere... Plenty of people I know frequent it a lot more than I do & are more than happy with not only the food but the service as well... In responce to the above comment... If you found the service & food to be indaquate why not raise it with the landlord instead of sniping about it long after the event?! I think such comments are gratuitous especially as this is an establishment that is just finding it's feet! I commend Mr. Greenwood on all that he is doing for the local community & for the success of this endeavor... Long may it last! Purple pickle
  • Score: 0

12:51pm Tue 17 Jan 12

Deepkick says...

I've been to The Rockstone about 10 times since it opened. The food is out of this world. It was a good idea to laminate the menu as it's hard not to drool over the fine local cuisine on the display. The staff are very welcoming and have treated a stranger to this area like a friend. The prices are relatively cheap for the amount of food on your plate. Of the ten times i have been to this pub my food and the food of the people i have eaten with have always been cooked to perfection and every time the waiters have always asked if i am happy with my food so the first comment to this article mystifies me, my advice to him would be... when the waiter asks if everything is alright with your meal you should of said no rather than yes and not complain about it when there is no chance to rectify the situation. My food has always been the tits x
I've been to The Rockstone about 10 times since it opened. The food is out of this world. It was a good idea to laminate the menu as it's hard not to drool over the fine local cuisine on the display. The staff are very welcoming and have treated a stranger to this area like a friend. The prices are relatively cheap for the amount of food on your plate. Of the ten times i have been to this pub my food and the food of the people i have eaten with have always been cooked to perfection and every time the waiters have always asked if i am happy with my food so the first comment to this article mystifies me, my advice to him would be... when the waiter asks if everything is alright with your meal you should of said no rather than yes and not complain about it when there is no chance to rectify the situation. My food has always been the tits x Deepkick
  • Score: 0

12:55pm Tue 17 Jan 12

Manfredcockcharms says...

Raising the bleeding chicken and 45 min wait was also an issue as the manager was clearly more interested in being with his friends (who seem to be the only customers they get) than dealing with the issue, my critique was mild in comparison to what it should have said....
Raising the bleeding chicken and 45 min wait was also an issue as the manager was clearly more interested in being with his friends (who seem to be the only customers they get) than dealing with the issue, my critique was mild in comparison to what it should have said.... Manfredcockcharms
  • Score: 0

2:07pm Tue 17 Jan 12

nomadicgoat says...

The Rockstone is a fantastic pub, and the food is excellent, with a nice range if vegetarian options, which is something I sometimes struggle with when eating out. The pub is only round the corner from where I live so is a very welcome addition to the area, providing a nice, friendly place to go and relax with a drink, and not too expensive either. Well done Max and everyone else involved.
The Rockstone is a fantastic pub, and the food is excellent, with a nice range if vegetarian options, which is something I sometimes struggle with when eating out. The pub is only round the corner from where I live so is a very welcome addition to the area, providing a nice, friendly place to go and relax with a drink, and not too expensive either. Well done Max and everyone else involved. nomadicgoat
  • Score: 0

7:46pm Tue 17 Jan 12

saintchez says...

As a frequent visitor to other pubs in the area I thought I'd give it a try and see what it was all about and both myself and the other half were impressed. We were given a friendly welcome by the bar staff and both really enjoyed having a few drinks there. We have also been and tried the Sunday lunch, we had beef (which was cooked to perfection) and compared to the carvery meals you can get from many other pubs in and around Southampton the food was really tasty (no soggy/cold veg or lumpy gravy in site) and for pretty much the same price. We will definately be using the pub again so hope it is not a 'doomed ship passing in the night'.
As a frequent visitor to other pubs in the area I thought I'd give it a try and see what it was all about and both myself and the other half were impressed. We were given a friendly welcome by the bar staff and both really enjoyed having a few drinks there. We have also been and tried the Sunday lunch, we had beef (which was cooked to perfection) and compared to the carvery meals you can get from many other pubs in and around Southampton the food was really tasty (no soggy/cold veg or lumpy gravy in site) and for pretty much the same price. We will definately be using the pub again so hope it is not a 'doomed ship passing in the night'. saintchez
  • Score: 0

1:37am Wed 18 Jan 12

ShakeyWiffles says...

Lovely pub and the steak night is awesome. Brilliant atmosphere and friendly staff. The steak night has made me want to eat there every night! Unfortunately due to not having a job I can't eat there as much as I wish. The choice of beers, ciders and spirits are lovely. Perhaps Manfredcockcharms thinks it is overpriced due to their being no cheap drinks deals or house doubles? Just a thought.
Lovely pub and the steak night is awesome. Brilliant atmosphere and friendly staff. The steak night has made me want to eat there every night! Unfortunately due to not having a job I can't eat there as much as I wish. The choice of beers, ciders and spirits are lovely. Perhaps Manfredcockcharms thinks it is overpriced due to their being no cheap drinks deals or house doubles? Just a thought. ShakeyWiffles
  • Score: 0

1:39am Wed 18 Jan 12

ShakeyWiffles says...

Manfredcockcharms wrote:
Yes... Well it all sounds awesome until you find uncooked food on your plate after waiting aprox 45 mins.. This bar has an astonishing amount of good ideas, however good ideas are nothing unless they can be put to use... Very much a case of a short lived whim here I'm sure, only a few REAL pubs left in town but this is very much an over priced and particularly doomed ship passing in the night...
Also, may I just say. This is freshly cooked food, not your typical bung it in the microwave wetherspoons food.
[quote][p][bold]Manfredcockcharms[/bold] wrote: Yes... Well it all sounds awesome until you find uncooked food on your plate after waiting aprox 45 mins.. This bar has an astonishing amount of good ideas, however good ideas are nothing unless they can be put to use... Very much a case of a short lived whim here I'm sure, only a few REAL pubs left in town but this is very much an over priced and particularly doomed ship passing in the night...[/p][/quote]Also, may I just say. This is freshly cooked food, not your typical bung it in the microwave wetherspoons food. ShakeyWiffles
  • Score: 0

8:25am Wed 18 Jan 12

Bevois Valley Resident says...

I've eaten at The Rockstone twice so far. On both occasions the food has been at the table within 10 minutes or so, even when the pub was really busy. As it's freshly cooked they couldn't really have got it out any quicker. It's got a lovely friendly atmosphere. I'm not sure what Manfredcockcharms thinks a 'real' pub is if it isn't a privately owned community pub that has really enhanced the area. As someone who lives down the street that it is on, I can say that this has been a hugely positive thing for the area. I know far more of my neighbours now they mostly drink there too and have a really friendly place with great food right on my doorstep. Thanks!
I've eaten at The Rockstone twice so far. On both occasions the food has been at the table within 10 minutes or so, even when the pub was really busy. As it's freshly cooked they couldn't really have got it out any quicker. It's got a lovely friendly atmosphere. I'm not sure what Manfredcockcharms thinks a 'real' pub is if it isn't a privately owned community pub that has really enhanced the area. As someone who lives down the street that it is on, I can say that this has been a hugely positive thing for the area. I know far more of my neighbours now they mostly drink there too and have a really friendly place with great food right on my doorstep. Thanks! Bevois Valley Resident
  • Score: 0

11:28am Sat 31 Mar 12

a and e says...

the bird in suspenders behind the bar is the main attraction !!!
the bird in suspenders behind the bar is the main attraction !!! a and e
  • Score: 0

5:13am Sat 14 Apr 12

sue 63 says...

Well-done Guys and long may it continue..To many are closing down..The Highfield now Closed until Further notice,such a shame as it was picking up and had a fab garden.
Well-done Guys and long may it continue..To many are closing down..The Highfield now Closed until Further notice,such a shame as it was picking up and had a fab garden. sue 63
  • Score: 0

6:18pm Tue 17 Apr 12

chunky_lover says...

anyone got a link to a pic of the girl?
anyone got a link to a pic of the girl? chunky_lover
  • Score: 0

9:23am Wed 6 Jun 12

BrixtonSaint says...

I think it's becoming a proven fact that if an establishment provides great food, a warm welcome and a good selection of ales then there is a chance a halt to the current swathe of closures can be halted.
People may have a few less pounds to spend but if the opportunity is provided they will eat and drink out. It all depends on the whims of the owner/management of these pubs and in turn the staff they employ.
It's quite simple really, do the complete opposite of what the majority of pubs have felt they have been able to get away with for years and you will retain the pubs and maybe even provide the focal point for the community as was once the case.
Looking forward to popping in when I'm next home.
Anyone able to disclose what the ale lineup is?
As for the first poster, your standard British reserve at complaining is your problem ... if you're not jealous local competition trying to put this lad's commendable efforts down.
I think it's becoming a proven fact that if an establishment provides great food, a warm welcome and a good selection of ales then there is a chance a halt to the current swathe of closures can be halted. People may have a few less pounds to spend but if the opportunity is provided they will eat and drink out. It all depends on the whims of the owner/management of these pubs and in turn the staff they employ. It's quite simple really, do the complete opposite of what the majority of pubs have felt they have been able to get away with for years and you will retain the pubs and maybe even provide the focal point for the community as was once the case. Looking forward to popping in when I'm next home. Anyone able to disclose what the ale lineup is? As for the first poster, your standard British reserve at complaining is your problem ... if you're not jealous local competition trying to put this lad's commendable efforts down. BrixtonSaint
  • Score: 0

5:42pm Mon 1 Oct 12

kingnotail says...

A better range of continental beer and this place would be perfect. Food is excellent!
A better range of continental beer and this place would be perfect. Food is excellent! kingnotail
  • Score: 0

10:13pm Fri 16 Nov 12

Saintsincethe60s says...

Manfredcockcharms wrote:
Yes... Well it all sounds awesome until you find uncooked food on your plate after waiting aprox 45 mins.. This bar has an astonishing amount of good ideas, however good ideas are nothing unless they can be put to use... Very much a case of a short lived whim here I'm sure, only a few REAL pubs left in town but this is very much an over priced and particularly doomed ship passing in the night...
You say it sounds awesome but you sound like a complete knob. END OF
[quote][p][bold]Manfredcockcharms[/bold] wrote: Yes... Well it all sounds awesome until you find uncooked food on your plate after waiting aprox 45 mins.. This bar has an astonishing amount of good ideas, however good ideas are nothing unless they can be put to use... Very much a case of a short lived whim here I'm sure, only a few REAL pubs left in town but this is very much an over priced and particularly doomed ship passing in the night...[/p][/quote]You say it sounds awesome but you sound like a complete knob. END OF Saintsincethe60s
  • Score: 0
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