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Johnny James and Matthew Dawson to take over The Boat House in Tewkesbury

By RobinJenkins  |  Posted: February 27, 2013

Matthew Dawson and Johnny James at The Boat House

Matthew Dawson and Johnny James at The Boat House

Comments (5)

BUSINESS partners Johnny James and Matthew Dawson want to revive the fortunes of a notoriously troubled Tewkesbury venue.

The Boat House has had a chequered history for many years, with many people trying to make a success of running it as either a pub or a restaurant.

Flooding

It is closed at the moment, having barely reopened at all after being affected by flooding earlier this winter.

But Johnny has stepped in to take over the premises, with his business colleague Matthew.

The pair aims to spend an initial sum of between £30,000 and £40,000 on sprucing up the Mythe Road venue.

Then they hope to reopen it late in March as a quality restaurant, serving fresh locally-sourced food at relatively affordable prices. Johnny and Matthew, both 31, will leave their jobs at the Belvedere Arms in Ascot, Berkshire, in order to start their new business venture.

Johnny said: “We’ve got 30 years’ experience in the trade between us. I want people to think ‘these guys really care’.

“We’ve been in similar jobs, but it’s a massive thing for us to do. I’m moving away from my girlfriend, who lives in Ascot, but we’re both so passionate about this and we thought we had to do it.”

He said the duo had taken on a five-year lease from the owners of the building, the Moholkar brothers.

Although not from the area, Johnny said he was aware of some of the riverside venue’s troubled past.

That included it being shut down by the police in 2006 due to drugs and weapons being found there when it was the King John’s Tavern.

Johnny added: “It seems quite sad as it’s such a stunning location but I reckon we will make it work.”

Originally from Bristol, he said coming to Tewkesbury felt a bit like coming back home to the South West.

He said he aimed to create a restaurant where people could enjoy a quality meal without it leaving a large hole in their wallet.

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5 comments

  • Autumneve  |  March 31 2013, 3:48PM

    Actually the so called ' NIMBYS' are simply a nice peaceful group of mainly retired people who do not want to deal with constant fights breaking out in their gardens, patrons urinating on their property and unreasonable noise disturbing this beautiful and now teanquil part of Tewkesbury. I live in the area now, and have heard how horrendous life was for these poor, (and might I add...lovely) people before the place was shut down. With wheely bins often thrown into the river, local wildlife harmed and elderly people living in fear, can you really blame them for being nervous every time it re-opens? would you like to live like this every weekend? A restaurant is the best idea for how to make use of The Boat House, hopefully keeping it as a food led venue will keep the harmon that now exists in the area. Like anyone, the local people surrounding it simply want to live a peaceful happy life, and if that is threatened, the young and old residents here will fight for our right to not be scared in our own homes!.

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  • Autumneve  |  March 31 2013, 3:48PM

    Actually the so called ' NIMBYS' are simply a nice peaceful group of mainly retired people who do not want to deal with constant fights breaking out in their gardens, patrons urinating on their property and unreasonable noise disturbing this beautiful and now teanquil part of Tewkesbury. I live in the area now, and have heard how horrendous life was for these poor, (and might I add...lovely) people before the place was shut down. With wheely bins often thrown into the river, local wildlife harmed and elderly people living in fear, can you really blame them for being nervous every time it re-opens? would you like to live like this every weekend? A restaurant is the best idea for how to make use of The Boat House, hopefully keeping it as a food led venue will keep the harmon that now exists in the area. Like anyone, the local people surrounding it simply want to live a peaceful happy life, and if that is threatened, the young and old residents here will fight for our right to not be scared in our own homes!.

    Rate   -1
    Report
  • Autumneve  |  March 31 2013, 3:47PM

    Actually the so called ' NIMBYS' are simply a nice peaceful group of mainly retired people who do not want to deal with constant fights breaking out in their gardens, patrons urinating on their property and unreasonable noise disturbing this beautiful and now teanquil part of Tewkesbury. I live in the area now, and have heard how horrendous life was for these poor, (and might I add...lovely) people before the place was shut down. With wheely bins often thrown into the river, local wildlife harmed and elderly people living in fear, can you really blame them for being nervous every time it re-opens? would you like to live like this every weekend? A restaurant is the best idea for how to make use of The Boat House, hopefully keeping it as a food led venue will keep the harmon that now exists in the area. Like anyone, the local people surrounding it simply want to live a peaceful happy life, and if that is threatened, the young and old residents here will fight for our right to not be scared in our own homes!.

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  • howitis  |  February 28 2013, 1:47PM

    Good luck to these lads with their venture, but be warned... The neighbours living around that place are a particularly vicious set of old NIMBYs who will probably already penning their letters to the relevant authorities to complain about the noises and smells emanating from your establishment. Just ask the last few people that have tried to make a go of the place!

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  • Seaem  |  February 28 2013, 12:17PM

    Possibly a High Class Restaurant instead of a mediocre pub (as it has been in the past) is the right way forward for this building.

    Rate   2
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