Bewildered – tenant's reaction to end of 47 years at 'Rockie'

THE outgoing tenant of The Rockmount Hotel said he was ‘bewildered’ as to why his lease was not being renewed.

Dave Nussbaumer

THE outgoing tenant of The Rockmount Hotel said he was ‘bewildered’ as to why his lease was not being renewed.

David Nussbaumer, pictured, said his family’s 47-year tenure at the establishment would end on 31 December when the current agreement with Randall’s Brewery came to an end.

‘The Rockmount has been my life and soul and it’s everything to me,’ he said.

Attempts to negotiate a new lease have been going on since last summer and had failed despite an offer to pay more and Randall’s were intent on taking the premises back, he said.

Randall’s Brewery managing director Ian Rogers said that money will be spent on the Rockmount to ensure that it remains a focal point of the area.

He added that the new arrangement would attract business to The Cobo Bay Hotel too.

Comments for: "Bewildered – tenant's reaction to end of 47 years at 'Rockie'"


The only reason they want it back is because it is the busiest pub on Guernsey in the summer months. With the live muusic it has the atmosphere and the food (for the size of the kitchen and the amount of chefs they have) is excellent. I hope that Randalls can keep up the good work and atmosphere - but I doubt it. As Mr Nussbaumer has said - the lease has been in his family for 47 years, so he has grown up with it more or less as his hime. I hope Randalls re-consider - but again I doubt it. Good luck Mr N. I hope you eventually get the decision makers to see sense!


I agree - and they'd better not ditch the legendary curly fries.


more like randalls would like to put their own manager in at a very low wage and make more money for themselves.

Island Wide Voting


Out on 31/12/13 ... new plans for luxury apartments in on 2/1/14?


I think if they try to do that you'll have people chaining themselves to the building in protest, but you're probably not far off base!!


Exactly what i reckon, So anyone taking bets on this?

Pub Boy

A real shame, it will just become another badly run brewery pub... but I guess its made David some money over the years and guess due to its location etc it will need some serious money spending on it... so in other words a big block of flats with a small wine bar underneath....who knows who they will get to run it tho.... lets just hope its not one of those well know town landlords.

Dave Haslam

Yep, they will bring some fresh faced young area manager in from Leeds who has no idea of the area, the clientel, the island and turn it into a Yates-esque generic wine bar.

Rocky regular

Let's be under no illusion here, the owners of Randalls are interested in one thing only -profit. The Rockmount has been run by the Nussbaumers over the years with a huge amount of pride, and rightly so, it operates very smoothly considering the amount of custom it gets. David and his family (and Tony before him) haved lived and breathed the place for very many years, and personally I very much doubt that whoever and whatever replaces them will be an improvement.

It will be a very sad moment when last orders are called this New Year's Eve.

pub boy

but eguess it will be the best new years eve party ever seen - still a shame

Ex Ritz Man

Let's not forget what happened to the Ritz and the V.B. Be under no illusion here, there is a good reason for this as Like Dave has pointed out himself he and his family have been extremily loyal and reliable tenants.


Typical Money-grabbing Randalls! What a shame. I took my parents to the Rocky for lunch whilst we were in Guernsey in the summer and we all loved it, esp the curly fries. I deal often with the Cobo Bay Hotel and always reccommend it to our clients that stay there. Sorry Randalls but that will happen no longer.

Suggest that Guernsey vote with their feet and desert the place when they're done Randallising it. If it does get sold for flats, don't buy those either.

In the meantime I hope to wish it farewell with a few pints there this summer.



Your "protest" will merely damage Mr.Nussbaumer further, Randall's do not have anything to do with Cobo Bay Hotel, it belongs to Mr. Nussbaumer.



Kind of misunderstood her post there. She was stating that she always recommends the Rockmount to any of her clients that stay at the Cobo Hotel. She is now going to omit recommending the Rockmount to any of her clients that stay at the Cobo Hotel.


Thank You Ectopudding, that is exactly what I meant. Of course I will still reccommend the Cobo Bay HOTEL, it's a fantastic property.

After this summer though I will no longer recommend lunch and a drink next door...



I hear Randalls are bringing back their old radio advert "if it's not Randalls it's a scandal" The only difference is they've taken the word "not" out of the caption.

Neil Forman


Best summer sunset

Such sad news that yet another "institution" in Guernsey is going. But lets face it prime real estate is all these people have in mind. There is no big money to be made in the pub trade in Guernsey anymore, or indeed in the UK for that matter. The shareholders of Randalls are only interested in one thing and that is making money, so you can understand their rationale for not renewing the lease.

It looks like this summer will be every guerns last chance to have a pint and watch the sun set from the best view point the island can offer on a sunny summers day!! Lets hope were in for a good one:)


Why mend it if it ain't broken!!!


I feel very sorry for Mr Nussbaumer and not at all surprised at Randalls. Rocky Regular is right, in that all anyone seems to care about these days is a quick Buck. Very often a quick Buck turns into an equally quick loss of custom and loyalty and in many cases results in closure.

Why do these compamies think that it is OK to play with peoples lives like this. Could they not have just said that when Mr Nussbaumer decides to call it a day, they will not

re-issue a lease on these premises.


Such a shame, a family have made it, now a company are cashing in. Suggest a one week strike on drinking Randalls starting Sunday. I always preferred Gin and Tonic anyway!


Another Guernsey institution bites the dust. Enjoyed many an afternoon playing snooker down there. If the feeling is strong enough, perhaps a boycott of Randalls pubs and products would remind the Directors of their folly.

norwich woman

Come on Guernsey folk get organised and ensure that Randalls really know how you feel and what you (the customers) want

The Rockmount without the 'David' factor - unthinkable and Cobo Bay village without a Rockmount - again unthinkable, its part of the life blood

Big mistake - HUGE


One way to show support is to follow @savetherocky on Twitter.


Soon after being bought out by an evidentially wealthy consortium, Randalls 'men in bowler hats' marched down to their little restaurant at Le Gouffre and informed the chap running it, who was doing an excellent job, and had been for some considerable time, that they were putting his rent up by a huge and incredibly unreasonable percentage.

The gentleman concerned, naturally very attached to the business he'd built, actually offered to buy it from them.

They refused, continued to demand a stupid rent, he refused to pay it, and moved out, only to be replaced by an 'established' town restaurant who also wanted an out of town venue, who slowly but very surely ran the place into the ground and shut up shop.

Randalls is a far cry from the family run business that actually gave a fig about the island or it's tenants, and I think they will find the backlash from what appears to me to be their 'modus operandi' will be huge, and throwing out David will have thrown out the proverbial baby with the bathwater....and serves them damn well right.

Not looking forward to nasty development propositions that will look like some sort of cancerous growth, pseudo homogenised 'traditional' UK pub/beach house looking restaurant, minus any soul, and new management freshly imported from the UK to 'update the look and feel' who have b8gger all clue about our island or it's culture, all of which, we'll hate with a passion.

I can only hope people vote with their feet.

What a shame, an island institution gone thanks to people with too much money and no care for our island at all....

rather reminds me of Sark.


I suspect that Randalls will choke the Cobo Bay Hotel business by not allowing use of the car park.

They will then offer to buy Cobo Hotel once it has run down - rather like Ronnie Ronaldes.

They will then close both, apply for permission to build a Vazon Bay type apartment block - gated and heavily securitised natch.

Chief Minister Billson will give it the nod.

Guernsey - Shape of Things To Come.


I imagine it is very profitable at the moment and therefore would be silly to change it from what it currently is.

We don't know the details of the rents offered/demanded so for all we know mr Nussbaumer is trying to get a lease on the cheap when it seems to be a profitable place to run. He's had his sob story in the paper now but Randalls haven't (as far as I'm aware) put their side of the story forward so I think people should reserve judgement until they do.

Ultimately it's Randalls that own the place so they can do what they like with it.


While I have a small amount of sympathy for David and the situation, it can hardly have come as a surprise

He is a successful hotelier (with no less than three other establishments), so why the big surprise when a lease is not renewed. Where is the contingency plan?

Furthermore David does himself no favours by whinging in the media about the situation, and threatening to turn Cobo Bay Hotek into apartments.

The loss of on-site parking, while unfortunate, is not the end of the world. As an occasional visitor there, parking a short walk away along the coast in either direction would not prevent me from going.

It is no different from going to a St Peter Port restaurant and having to park on the Crown Pier or North Beach. Also the OGH and Duke of Richmond have only limited parking

Get over it David!


What he is left with is a building/unviable hotel with no parking. When people are allowed to tarmac over fields because they have an unviable business. Parking will increase the value of cobo baby hotel by many hundreds of thousands. If permission is given he could just sell and make a handsome profit. If he wanted to turn it into flats he would have to knock it down and build an underground car park. It's not a great situation to be in but he has been lucky to have had the use of the car park for so long.


i notice another story in the press,,if i do not get my way with car park i will close the cobo bay hotel.

reminds me of the time he and his mates forced through their idear,s for the football,back us or sack us and then resign leaving the clubs to pick up the mess.

Dot Comma

And remember the time when he promised the Castel electorate the world, got elected as Deputy, got his speed humps outside the Rocky and then pushed off.

Did the same with Guernsey cricket - voted for clubs to be thrown out of the league after - cancelling one fixture - and then poached their best players for Cobo CC.

Don't give me your sob story Nussy. It's karma.

Cobo Drinker

I agree, DN has form using the press to stir up opinion to get his own way (this time sad faced picture in the field he wants as a car park along with threat to remove Cobo Bay from tourism if he doesn't get his own way). He and his family have built a house and the Cobo bay business based on the thought they would run the Rockmount forever. It's hardly surprising if Randalls see him driving his big car between his 3 other successful businesses they want a slice of the action. I've no idea want they've got planned and hope they keep the character of the place. But unlike Scott/Bucktrouts they seem to re-open pubs (Prince of Wales in town), so I am living in hope.


I feel I must point out that the Prince of Wales is another example of a perfectly good traditional bar that has been revamped and ruined. It is not the same PoW that we all knew and loved. It is now just another rowdy disco bar. No character, no atmosphere, no fun.


The long and short of this is Nussie does not own the Rockmount and Randalls do, they have tried to negotiate for the past year I believe but have failed to come to agreement, that is that he pays a viable rent, in today's climate, or for the business that he has built up on a pepper corn lease.

In typical David style he can not get his own way so out come the teddies, Ok close Cobo, bite your nose off, rather than saying I will take you on next door then, every Town pub and restaurant you have to walk, so why not Cobo, car

Parks either side of it on the coast. OK maybe a problem in the winter but hey oh, just take them on rather than, giving the teddies another headache like with the States, Football, Cricket first time around shall I carry on.

I further believe that he has tried to acquire another establishment further along by Vazon, but was turned down by his friend Mr Ferbrache.

Perhaps Randall should like to buy Cobo Bay and show him how it all could work.

Donkeys Life

Dot Comma.

You beat me to it,word for word.


To be fair, I think you will find, it was the then president of the Island Traffic Committee, Mike Dean, who was instrumental in getting the speed humps outside the Rockmount.

Possibly the only worthwhile thing he did in his entire tenure on this commitee.


Whoever gave the final ok to the humps, it was former deputy Nussbaumer that pushed for them

Can someone explain to me why the humps remain there in the winter months? They are not needed in the winter


Nor at any other time of year!!

Town Dweller

I'm upset the Island will be losing a long standing institution. I'm not feeling sorry for Nussaumbaum er though. Don't believe for one minute DN does anything for anyone else, unless he will benefit himself.

Just read dot commas post above about how he is not adverse to dumping on anyone if he doesn't get his own way. And as someone said above, poor DN's Teddies better get some anadin, they're going to need it.


Why do breweries continually fail to understand that some of us actually like and actively seek the few traditional pubs that are left and that we don't all want to be drinking in trendy wine or disco bars where there is nowhere comfortable to sit and the music is so loud you can't hear yourself think? Or where 'gourmet' food is served that is so fashionably expensive nobody actually wants it?

I remember when the Caves de Bordeaux was revamped and turned into a 'trendy wine bar' and all the old regulars (who had been keeping the place going for years) were made brutally aware that they were no longer welcome. A year down the line the landlord was begging those same old regulars to come back and save his sinking pub (which ultimately sank).

I think it is an outrage that Dave is being kicked out and I agree with Miss Wannabean that we should all boycott the place AFTER he has left. We traditionalists need to vote with our feet.

Cobo Drinker

You’ve got a point there Bridge – the PoW is not the same as the good old days, but still it's a slight improvement on the Lemon Wedge. After reading my first comment I should really be supporting DN in his planning application. If he manages to have planning laws for agricultural land changed, I might finally be able to do something useful with my field!


Very sad story - I sincerely hope that, whatever happens, the Rockie will stay operating as a pub. It has always been at the heart of the community in Cobo.

Trouble is, while a pub probably makes a fair few grand in profit every year - a block of half a dozen luxury apartments in a prime location on the west coast would probably sell at - say - £800k a piece (or £4.8 million). How many pints would you have to sell to make that sort of money?

Be good if someone from Randalls would confirm that they have no intention of shutting the Rockie down?

Cor damme la!

A company wants to maximise its profits? Shock horror! If any of you ran a business and believe you could make a lot more cash out of it, of course you would do it. Last I looked Randalls wasn't a registered charity! And, you never know, they could make it better eh? And if they don't, nobody will go there and they will lose money. That's business......


Some posts do seem to do their best to escalate the story. We're getting luxury apartments are we? When was this announced?

I only read that DN is not getting his lease renewed and wants to tarmac over a feild or he'll spit the dummy out of the pram and immediate close the Cobo Bay Hotel!! (Sounds like the Barclay Brothers decision one Xmas to 'close Sark' and sack everyone.

Randalls own the place and its their choice to install a new manager or whatever they want. I cant see a profitable pub being closed, however the bar at the back seems very large and seemingly not sufficiently utilised unless there is a football match on.

I'm looking forward to seeing Randalls new and improved Pub. And apart from the curly fries as mentioned above, the food is pretty 'nuked in a microwave' mainly demonstrated by the frozen nature of their 'fresh garlic bread'.

Traditional pubs are great to enjoy, but who decides when tradition turns into 'old and obselete'?

DN knew the lease was 'renewable' and so possible to be not renewed - why the need for a sob story? Although as he announced that he couldn't afford the £1k fee to close the coast road for the balcony gigs as they were for 'charity', maybe hes just not making as much moola as we all think....

Food for thought perhaps.... or perhaps not!

Hard times

You may be right Cobo-ite, I don't think DN has changed his £100k car for a few years now, perhaps he's starting to feel the pinch?

Jo M

POW - Spoiled

Salerie Inn - Spoiled then gone

Auberge - Spoiled

That's just a few, there are others.

A lot of people dont want LED lights and television screens. They want a PUB.

Its probably fair comment that DN has manipulated the Press for his own gain, but hopefully Randalls can resist the temptation to put in a neon gastro-mess.


I reckon you would enjoy this place!

No telly, no lager, good newspapers and a thriving base of locals!

A proper pub!

Oh Dear

Oh what a shame...

A yuppy bar with appalling food in the front and a "sports" bar full of angry chavs at the back. Perhaps I might actually enjoy going in when things change.

It has the potential to be the best bar on the West coast. Decent food in the front and a fun bar in the back that's not such a dive it encourages the sort of people I generally want to stay away from. (they can get quite punchy)


The Rockmount front bar described as a "yuppy (sic) bar", there's a first!!

I also don't think the back bar is full of chavs, working class people yes, but not chavs.

And by the way, it already is the best bar on the west coast, and the fact that it is so popular tends to suggest that your views are not particularly common.

If you don't enjoy going in, then don't go in, surely that's very straightforward?


Best bar on the west coast???

If one ignores the bars attached to Hotels, isnt it the only Pub on the West Coast?


I suppose that depends on whether you count Grandes Rocques (the old Wayside Tavern) and/or the Houmet?


Err Isnt the Wayside Tavern associated with the Wayside Hotel...



Errr, no. The hotel and the pub are totally separate.

Oh Dear

The front bar is occupied by typical posers and business men. Yuppies.

You can call them working class people if you wish. Their behaviour to me is anti-social, they are chavs in my book. I know true working class people two very different things. People who go into a pub to try and set fire to toilets and threaten others in my book are chavs. The fact that the place needs a bouncer says it all.

I don't go in. Perhaps if things changed I would.

The only genuine thing the place has going for it is its' location.


The fact that you "don't go in" explains why your assertions are uninformed and incorrect. It's a wonder how the place has survived without business such as yours, which is no doubt more lucrative than that of the people you so despise.

Mrs Rochester

Oh Dear,

Please don’t frequent the Rockmount, I wouldn’t want to have to share my breathing space with someone as narrow minded as you.


@ Oh dear

Your post is ridiculous.

Oh Dear

My post is my opinion. I'm not narrow minded, I avoid town at weekends for the same reason. There are too many people who want to cause trouble. I have been subject to a lot of abuse in the back bar at the Rockmount (hence not going in there). I wouldn't have posted if it was not a place I had visited in the past. Go in the back bar and watch what these people are like. The last time I was there, there was a large scuffle including the bouncer throwing punches.

If you disagree that's fine. It is as I said my opinion, which I am perfectly entitled to. I'm not a snob, I just dislike people attempting to fight me without good reason.

As for the things I mentioned about setting fire to the toilets, did you not read about that in the GP?

As I said I'm not narrow minded. I have a lot of respect for people but if they disrespect me I will not respect them back. I've never had a good night in there.

St Marcouf

Oh Dear's post reminds me that all of Guernsey's pubs and bars are of the ghastly urban type found on any street corner in the UK.

There is not one traditional country pub frequented by the salt of the earth and the gentry alike where dogs are allowed, where there is a roaring fire all year round, no music, no TV, no games machines, and no brash furniture and decoration.

It's sad and says a lot about the island.


Hear hear. I love visiting the country pubs around Dartmoor.

Oh Dear



I still like the Rockmount though....but as you say it's all about opinions.

Terry Langlois

Totally agree. We could really do with a country pub or two, just as you describe, with a proper beer garden.

Ah, I can just taste the ale now...


Used to love the public bar at the Captains, the only music was Ira Vidamour's accordion, Mild on draught, many happy times spent there!


sorry the rockmount is a bit of a dump really

mr david n - is in it for one thing and one thing only - yep you guessed it " its all about the money kerching"

i think the place needs a new direction and i wish Randalls and thenew team they put in place all the best i am sure it will be a winner for all

well done


With all due respect, how many of the people who have commented above actually regularly drink in the Rockmount? And I don't mean they turn up a couple of times a summer because the weather is nice and they can sit outside.

It's entirely clear to me that the people who drink in the Rockmount regularly have not even been asked to give an opinion on the matter because everybody that I've spoken to about it wants the Rockmount run by Dave Nussbaumer as it has been so successfully and for so long.

People are also on here passing opinions on Dave, people that don't even know him and some of them have probably never even met him. They just assume, you can't start throwing around that he's greedy and that he's this and he is that.

Yes I'm sure Dave does turn a healthy profit from the Rockmount, and at the end of the day like everything it is a business. However don't start telling me that after 47 years of running the place that he has no emotional attachment!

I refer again to the comments above, if you don't like the place, why are you having your say about the situation, as it clearly has no bearing on you whatsoever.

Randalls will install a manager and the place will not have the same character, it'll become just another soulless pub like the vast majority are on this island. Whoever they put in won't have the same love and affection for the place as the man himself has said that it means everything to him.

The Rockmount in my eyes will never be the same again after 31/12/2013. It'll no longer be 'The People's Pub'

Oh Dear

@ Rocky Revival.

"I refer again to the comments above, if you don’t like the place, why are you having your say about the situation, as it clearly has no bearing on you whatsoever."

Of course it has a bearing on those of us that don't like it currently. Perhaps we might like it in the future.

I'm not going to comment on Dave himself as I don't know him.

You may have noticed that I was voicing my own opinions on the place. I used to go there quite regularly as friends of mine lived near it.

Those who frequent the pub are more than welcome to air their opinions on this site or via letters to the GP.

In my opinion the place lost its character when it was "done up" a few years ago.


Like I said, you are not a regular in there, so really it's not relevant what you've got to say is it. It's the people that live in the area who attend the place regularly that should be getting asked for their opinion by Randalls before they treat David in the way that he's been treated. Which by the way is an absolute disgrace.

You may not like the place at the moment, but the regulars do, and if it's not broken don't fix it.

Oh Dear

I'm more than entitled to my opinion. If you want to dismiss what I say that's fine. I was just stating my personal views on the place.

I do feel sorry for Dave, it does seem rather strange that they decided to kick him out like that.

If Randalls feel they can make money from the place (which isn't exactly difficult) why would they ask the opinions of the regulars? They may lose some of the regulars but many will still go as it's convenient. Tourists will always continue to go due to the views. It's probably the easiest pub in the island to make money from.

Have you ever heard of the phrase, "freedom of speech"?


Are you sure he`s been running it for 47 yrs? i remember tony was there about 32 yrs ago and i`m sure dave wasen`t running it then?. I think he is only about 55-60?.

Oh Dear

It says in the headline that he's had it for 47 years. Perhaps it was handed down the generations.


Yes it was his fathers before him.


The bottom line is surely, disregarding the personal comments on Dave and the pub itself, that Dave and Randalls could not arrive at an agreed lease. I have heard that Dave has known about this for some years -it's not just a new situation - and Randalls want a much bigger financial return than was negotiated last time. I am told Dave knew what was coming and has, as previously said in this column' sought to relieve Peter Ferbrache of Crabby Jacks which has been declined. It's just business and sentiment is not in the equation.


What a load of crap. Give it 2 months and the locals will still be in there drinking the same beer not even noticing its under new management. I bet you not ONE of the people complaining will boycott the place!

Local this, local that, English managers will come in and wreck it, Ian Rogers isn't local blah blah blah.

Nussbaumer????? David's father was AUSTRIAN! Enough said I think!


MsWannaBean, I'm sure it will survive without you or your clients!


Mac has got it spot on. It's a disagreement between the owners and tenant over a lease which they simply cannot agree on. Sorry there's not much room for sentiment but times are hard and if you can't pay the going rate move on with dignity.