A BUSINESSMAN liked his steak so much...he decided to buy the restaurant.
Alfie Best, 43, decided to buy the Rare Cow steak house and bar chain after being impressed by its food.
Mr Best, a multi-millionaire who owns one of Britain's largest mobile home companies, now owns the venues in Jackson's Lane, Billericay; Chequers Road, Writtle and High Road, Earls Colne.
Mr Best of London Road, West Thurrock, jumped at the chance to buy the chain after former boss Richard Lester said he would sell it.
Mr Best said: “I really enjoyed the steak at the Billericay outlet and just got chatting with Richard Lester, the owner. It turned out he was looking to move on to other things so I’ve jumped in quickly.”
Rare Cow was launched by Mr Lester in April 2013 and specialises in fine steaks from more unusual breeds of cow. It won Essex Restaurant of the Year last year.
Outgoing owner, Mr Lester said: “Alfie really liked the restaurant so decided he wanted to invest. He thinks he could make it a national chain. Alfie has big plans for expansion and he is the man to take the brand forward.”
The chain is popular with the Only Way is Essex actors and actresses Ricky Rayment, Jessica Wright and Mario Falcone.
ITV2 filmed part of a recent Towie episode at the Billericay branch where James Argent attempted to tackle a steak challenge.
Other regulars include former EastEnders star Billy Murray and pop singer David Van Day.
Mr Best is likely to keep the Burger Challenge where anyone can attempt to eat a two kilo steak and, if successful within a certain time, they do not have to pay the £99 charge.
Mr Best is chairman of Wyldecrest Parks, valued at around £100million.