05:12PM, Thursday 14 October 2021
Simon Bonwick, from The Crown at Burchetts Green, will be leaving the pub for a new venture in December
The owner of a popular Burchetts Green pub says that it is time to ‘rattle a new drum’ as he prepares to leave the watering hole and open a new business in a nearby town.
Simon Bonwick, who has been at the helm of The Crown at Burchetts Green for nine years, added that his time at the pub has come to a ‘natural’ end.
The venue has won several high-profile hospitality awards since Simon and his family took over nearly a decade ago, and has also got a Michelin Star to show for its efforts, with a focus on French cuisine.
Speaking to the Advertiser, Simon revealed how he is now looking forward to starting a ‘new story’ in a nearby town, which he said will be focused on ‘finer’ food and be more of a restaurant environment.
The chef – who is celebrating his 40th year in the profession – did not disclose where this new eatery would be, nor what it would be called.
“We are a very creative family, and we need to rattle a new drum and start a new story for our own creativity,” Simon said.
“That is really what the move is about – we want to achieve something a little bit finer outside of a pub to prove to ourselves that we are the creative family we think we are.”
He added: “This story has come to a really healthy, natural conclusion and we are really grateful for the business and all our customers who have become firm friends. Hopefully we have created some really fond memories for people.
“I started from nothing here, it was on its knees and we had to raise it up to its hind legs. It’s a ‘crown’ that is really twinkling.”
Simon (below) said that he has sold his lease at The Crown, which will be taken over by another independent landlord who will ensure a quality watering hole remains in Burchetts Green.
Famed for his French-style cooking, the long-serving chef says that his new restaurant will also be French-biased – although he is expecting more help with the washing-up this time.
As well as his Michelin-starred food, Simon has been renowned for being the sole runner of the kitchen – and that includes the dirty dishes.
While he works on the food, his family have always been busy running other operations within the pub, with son George working as general manager.
“As we get inside [the new restaurant], we will learn about the building, the demographic and the customers,” he said. “These wonderful old buildings tell you what they want, and you have to listen and surrender.
“We want to get in there and start writing the story.”
The last food service at The Crown will be dinner time on Saturday, December 18, with more details about the Bonwick’s new venture being released in the spring.
To mark his 40th year as a chef, Simon has also released a book entitled 'Cooking in Pubs', which is available now for £40 plus delivery at www.awaywithmedia.com
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