Jonathan Lord MP attended the relaunch of the Rowbarge pub yesterday morning.
The Rowbarge is an independent gastropub based in St. John's village, Woking. Built originally in the 19th-century to cater for the construction teams at the nearby canal, it has been welcoming guests, providing food, drinks and accommodation for well over 150 years.
It is now under the management of chef Augustus Jonah. Augustus was born in Ghana and moved to the UK in December 2005. He originally trained to be an actuary before deciding to pursue his passion for food and train to be a chef.
Augustus trained under the late chef Antonio Carluccio and Gennaro Contaldo and went on to become head chef at Jamie Oliver's flagship restaurants in Piccadilly Circus and at Gatwick Airport, North Terminal.
The Rowbarge is Augustus’ first business and is, in his words, a ‘dream come true’. Augustus will run the business and oversee the kitchen and his partner Szandra will run the front of house. Augustus has taken over the pub on a 15 year lease and is confident that he will restore The Rowbarge into being the great village pub St John's deserves.
Giving a speech in the outdoor seating area to the customers and staff, Jonathan Lord MP said:
“It is wonderful to see the impressive refurbishment of The Rowbarge and to be here on the happy occasion of its reopening. Augustus Jonah has a terrific reputation as a chef and his skills, his enthusiasm and his hard work is clear for everyone to see. St Johns is a great village and a great community and deserves to have a great gastropub. I wish Augustus and his team every possible good fortune for the future; I feel sure that they will make a huge success of The Rowbarge and that the whole local area will benefit from having such a fantastic pub on our doorstep.”
Photograph from left to right:
Jonathan Lord MP, Cllr Ayesha Azad, Augustus Jonah, Paul Smith