Be At One, the 12-strong London-based cocktail bar chain, has appointed Toby Rolph, of the Academy Music Group, the leading owner and operator of live music and club venues in the UK, as its new finance director, M&C Report has learnt.

Rolph, who will officially join the bar operator in April, will take over from Simon Rowe, former group financial officer at Paramount Restaurants, who has been working with Be At One, on an interim basis since the end of last year.

Rolph has been with the operator of the 02 Academy chain since July 2007 and played a key role in the negotiations for the £31m refinancing of the group’s existing facilities in November 2010.

The appointment of Rolph ends Be At One’s search for a permanent finance director. Zoe Tindall, formerly of YO! Sushi, who was the group’s previous acting financial director, left to join Vietnamese-chain Pho at the end of 2010.

Private equity group Piper took a significant minority stake in Be At One, investing £8m in the business, which valued it close to £20m, last year.

The investment is set to aid an aggressive rollout of the brand towards an estate of around 30 sites, with a number of sites already in the group’s pipeline.
The business was founded in 1998 by three former TGI Friday’s bar staff Steve Locke, Rhys Oldfield and Leigh Miller.