Bar One owner celebrates 20 years of community contribution with prestigious award

An Ascot nightclub owner received the prestigious longevity award at an awards ceremony this month.

Rohan Thompson took over ‘The Horse & Groom’ pub 20 years ago with the aim of transforming it into a Mayfair-style bar and restaurant for today’s market.

His nightclub, ‘Club 1’, which he launched soon after, is now one of Ascot’s most sought after nights out and the area’s main live music venue.

The Star Pubs and Bars award recognizes the contribution it has made over the past 20 years within the local community.

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For the past 16 years, as a former basketball player, he has also volunteered his time to teach basketball at Charter School six form college. They have won the Berkshire League several times.

Rohan said: “It was my first bar and restaurant of my own. At the time people thought I was crazy but having worked in the hotel industry for others for 12 years, I wanted to work for myself.

“I used to meet friends at the pub because of its location next to the racecourse and always thought it could be amazing, and it was. It’s a real chameleon of a place now – a place to go for lunch or dinner, watch sports, attend a networking event, watch a concert or go clubbing.

“I really enjoyed my time at Bar 1 and can’t wait to start our ‘Up close and personal’ shows again this summer when the artists start traveling.

Both the bar and nightclub have hosted Vegas headliners and a wide array of patrons.

He added: “I love what I do and the fact that the many things we offer make people happy and bring a bit of Vegas and London to Ascot without the need to travel.

“So thank you to my regular diners and drinkers for all your support over the years, because without you we wouldn’t be here.

“And thanks to my mother who was my inspiration. She died when I was 12 and I promised her I would never let her down.

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“Now my inspiration comes from my three-year-old daughter, Georgia. So happy many days ahead!”

Kevin Burton, Regional Manager of Star Pubs & Bars: “Congratulations Rohan on this well-deserved award. You have created and maintained a fantastic venue for Ascot offering great food, drink and entertainment on the high street, a place the town can be proud of.

“The popularity of Bar 1 is due to the friendly atmosphere you and your team have created and the high quality of food, drink and service provided. So, well done and here’s to another 20 years!

About James K. Bonnette

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