Rosie’s Bar and Restaurant on St Helena – A Fantastic Grand Opening

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Rosie’s Bar and Restaurant on St Helena – A Fantastic Grand Opening

THE PLACE TO BE AT SUNSET ON ST HELENA | Darrin Henry

Rosie’s Bar and Restaurant on St Helena welcomed over 450 guests on Friday night, 8 December 2017, for a sparkling Grand Opening event, with owner and first-time entrepreneur Rosemary Bargo, known to all as Rosie, realising a dream that began over 14 years ago.

…Then Life Happens!

The brand new two-storey building at the top of Ladder Hill and the bottom of Half Tree Hollow, overlooks the vast South Atlantic and glows orange in the evenings as the sun dips into to the sea.

Grand Opening of Rosie’s Bar and Restaurant at Ladder Hill on St Helena Island, guests enjoying sunset on the verandas.

 

On the ground floor of Rosie’s Bar and Restaurant is the 60-seater dining area and kitchen. On top is the spacious Lounge Bar opening onto a wide promenade of a veranda where customers will be able to chill with cocktails while trying to spot the green flash at sunset. The whole place can be configured to accommodate up to 530 people.

“Since 2003 when I returned to the island I knew I wanted to do something like this,” said Rosie, “a bar and pizza type place was what I had in mind. I felt the island needed a facility like this as options were quite limited at the time. But you know, then life happens! You get kind of side-tracked, but it was always on my mind.”

“It was a worrying time”

About seven years ago Rosie decided it was time to make the project happen. “I got serious,” she told me.

“For me, the most challenging part was going into a business where I didn’t have the experience.”

Six and a half years were lost in procedure as Rosie battled to overcome the challenges of securing land, planning approvals and all the other tedious regulation boxes that needed to be ticked on a project this size.

Rosie’s career to date has always been in finance, more recently as Manager of the Bank of St Helena. Not knowing both the building and entertainment/catering trade caused plenty of headaches. “It was a worrying time. I was scared about getting the right builder.”

Things changed after Rosie approached local building expert, Phillip John.

“I think Phillip took pity on me,” said Rosie, laughing at the memory, “he really helped with professional advice and direction. This then led to Johnny Isaac (Isaac’s Contractors) coming on board as the building contractor and that was it, he was absolutely the right builder who turned my dream into reality.”

Building contractor, Johnny Isaac, supervising the final touches a few hours before the opening of Rosie’s Bar and Restaurant.

Owner, Rosie Bargo, welcoming guests to the Grand Opening of her Bar & Restaurant on St Helena.

Rosie’s Bar and Restaurant – The Inspiration

Actual construction on the site itself took exactly six months and two days, start to finish, that in itself an incredible achievement on St Helena.

Inspiration in the design and concept of Rosie’s Bar and Restaurant has come from Rosie’s life experiences, living and working on Ascension Island and the USA.

“I wanted a place that was open all the time, where people didn’t have to pre-book for a meal,” explained Rosie, “they could just turn up during the day, in the evenings or after work on their own terms and get good service.

“During my four years living in the States I took note of the customer service attitudes and wanted to bring that high level of service to my business.

“I know what I’m doing is very ambitious, but you know, I keep saying, ‘why not?’

“A lot of people have told me ‘you can’t do that,’ or they’ll say ‘it won’t work Rosie.’

“But I don’t believe a place like this can’t work here; why not? Why can’t we have a place that’s open seven days a week, all day long?”

Rosie also acknowledged that her plan is big and it might turn out she’ll have to scale back to meet the realities of operating. But she’s also fiercely determined to give it a good go.

Images from the Grand Opening of Rosie’s Bar and Restaurant, St Helena Island.

Grand Opening of Rosie’s, An Amazing Night

“On the night I was overwhelmed by the response, even just that everyone showed up,” said Rosie afterwards. “At the same time I was worried, trying to coordinate all the little things in the background that no-one could see. I guess I’m now at the beginning of that steep learning curve!”

If Friday night’s opening event is anything to go by this project has as much chance of success as anything ever launched on St Helena. It’s an establishment that’s effortlessly classy and inviting.

The atmosphere in Rosie’s Lounge Bar was electric. The venue was brand new yet it immediately felt familiar and welcoming. Rosie herself is a St Helenian well known for her glamour, her infectious sense of fun, energy and friendliness, and somehow she has woven these aspects of her character into the building itself.

From the first moment the place came alive with excited chatter, the bartenders were kept busy and the dance floor filled with smiling faces eager to enjoy a historic night.

The atmosphere was incredible.

As Saints we are immensely proud of Rosie and what she has achieved and just like the many, many people I’ve spoken to since Friday night, one of our own who’s really done good. We wish Rosie’s Bar and Restaurant the very, very best for a prosperous and happy future.

Here are a few pictures from that wonderful Grand Opening night.

Grand Opening of Rosie’s Bar and Restaurant at Ladder Hill on St Helena Island, guests enjoying sunset on the verandas.

The large veranda on the Lounge Bar – Grand Opening of Rosie’s Bar and Restaurant, St Helena Island.

Guests on the Lounge Bar veranda, a the Grand Opening of Rosie’s Bar & Restaurant.

Inside the Lounge Bar at the Grand Opening of Rosie’s Bar and Restaurant, St Helena Island.

Inside the Lounge Bar at the Grand Opening of Rosie’s Bar and Restaurant, St Helena Island.

Guests at the Grand Opening of Rosie’s Bar & Restaurant, St Helena Island.

Guests at the Grand Opening of Rosie’s Bar & Restaurant, St Helena Island.

Grand Opening of Rosie’s Bar & Restaurant, St Helena Island.

Guests at the Grand Opening of Rosie’s Bar & Restaurant, St Helena Island.

Father Dale leading prayers and giving a blessing of Rosie’s Bar & Restaurant on opening night.

Rosie’s opening night speech.

A speech by Debbie Stround at the Grand Opening of Rosie’s Bar & Restaurant, St Helena Island.

Grand Opening of Rosie’s Bar & Restaurant, St Helena Island.

Guests at the Grand Opening of Rosie’s Bar & Restaurant, St Helena Island.

Let the party begin! The Big Easy band were in the house for the opening night. Singer Merle Peters was on top form.

The Big Easy band provided live music for the opening night at Rosie’s Bar and Restaurant.

“Gonna be some sweet sounds…” The Big Easy band with guest singers provided live music for the opening night at Rosie’s Bar and Restaurant.

The Big Easy band provided live music for the opening night at Rosie’s Bar and Restaurant.

Rosie’s Bar and Restaurant – scene on the top veranda in the evening.

Enjoying the opening night of Rosie’s Bar and Restaurant.

A very busy bar throughout the opening night at Rosie’s Bar and Restaurant.

Guests of honour, Rosie’s nephew and niece.

The dance floor was full for the Grand Opening of Rosie’s Bar & Restaurant.

The dance floor was full for the Grand Opening of Rosie’s Bar & Restaurant.

The dance floor was full for the Grand Opening of Rosie’s Bar & Restaurant.

The ribs served at the Grand Opening of Rosie’s Bar & Restaurant were that good!

The dance floor was full for the Grand Opening of Rosie’s Bar & Restaurant.

Fun times at Rosie’s Bar & Restaurant are here.

Fun times at Rosie’s Bar & Restaurant are here.

Rosie’s Bar and Restaurant at night.

 

By |2017-12-10T21:19:02+00:00December 10th, 2017|Amazing People, Food and Drink, St Helena|10 Comments

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10 Comments

  1. jean-michel mayer January 24, 2018 at 11:35 am - Reply

    restaurant d’une qualité exceptionnelle que nous avons récemment découvert à l’occasion d’un voyage organisé par pascal laparlière (Sainte-Hélène voyage). installés en terrasse, dominant la baie de jamestown, nous avons été accueillis par la charmante rosie. j’ai pris un thon absolument délicieux, cuit à point ; tous les convives ont étés enchantés. c’est vraiment une étape à recommander.
    jean-michel mayer

  2. Patrick G Henry December 12, 2017 at 8:40 am - Reply

    excellent write up and good exposure and beautiful detailed pictures. Well done and congratulations to Rosie, the ideal location and beauty look adds a stunning flavour to the Ladder Hill Park. I wish her sincere successfulness in growth for her Business, friendliness and a enjoyable venue for everyone. CONGRATULIONS.

  3. Cecil Thomas December 11, 2017 at 5:37 am - Reply

    A fantastic grand opening, ROSIE’s bar and restaurant will undoubtedly be a SUCCESS on the island. For a few moments there I felt as if I wasn’t on the island. Looking forward to some downtime and good food at her place. Great write up guys and AWESOME footage once again.

    • WTSDN December 11, 2017 at 12:22 pm - Reply

      Know what you mean Cecil, we were all transported away that night. Brilliant memories.
      The “Nightshift” performance was pretty awesome too 🙂
      Will be lovely to see how Rosie’s develops its style and character over the coming months/years.
      Thanks for the comment, cheers 🙂

  4. Chris Daniel December 10, 2017 at 11:02 pm - Reply

    A lovely good news story from the island! Best wishes to Rosie – she deserves all success for her bold IDEA. I hope she Proves the truth of the saying ‘Build it and they will COME’.

    • WTSDN December 11, 2017 at 12:20 pm - Reply

      Thanks for the comment Chris – yes, agreed, best wishes to Rosie.
      I think Rosie’s place will be hard to resist for us all 🙂

  5. Rosie Bargo December 10, 2017 at 9:49 pm - Reply

    Thank you Darrin and Sharon for the wonderful coverage of my opening, the pictures are amazing, I know a lot of people has ask me to post on FB, I believe they will be very happy to see what you have captured of my place. Again thank you so much…

    • WTSDN December 11, 2017 at 12:19 pm - Reply

      Thanks Rosie.
      You’ve done something wonderful at Ladder Hill, we are very proud of you. It was a pleasure taking pictures that night, the atmosphere was so good. Good luck and keep that lovely smile going, it’s a great welcome for people coming through the door.
      Cheers 🙂

  6. debbie stroud December 10, 2017 at 9:41 pm - Reply

    whow…. Electric… looking at these beautiful pics taken by the amazing Darrin. what a night, I didn’t had much time to get into the swing of things as was working behind the scenes but you could feel it and would love a replay… rosie looks beautiful and proud in these pics, you would never say she was doing the final bits and pieces up to the last. wish this lady huge success in her wonderful business x thanks for the beautiful pictures Darrin and Sharon x

    • WTSDN December 11, 2017 at 12:16 pm - Reply

      Hey Debs, thanks always for the support and kind comments. You all did a super job on opening night – don’t worry if you missed out by working, it was thoroughly appreciated by everyone there. Perfect launch night.
      Yes, wishing Rosie every success!
      Cheers 🙂

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