Hospitality, generosity and affordability promised at new Pomus restaurant in Margate

Tony Rodd and Ryan Jacovides get set to open Pomus Photo Harriet Langford

Hospitality, generosity, affordability and a menu that everyone can eat regardless of intolerances are among the key focuses of the new Pomus restaurant due to open in Margate shortly.

The restaurant, wine bar and bottle shop is taking up unit 9 at The Centre with the doors expected to open at the end of this month or the beginning of May.

The venture is founded by Ryan Jacovides, who was previously group MD at the Jamie Oliver Group until 2017, with MasterChef 2015 finalist and former restaurant owner Tony Rodd taking the reins in the kitchen.

The main restaurant will cater for 40-covers with a combination of counter dining at the open bar kitchen and banquet seating and a private downstairs tasting room for larger parties and events. There will also be a bottle shop and kitchen provisions store.

Hospitality sector specialists Chrisp & Waterhouse are leading on the interior design, having worked with Ryan on multiple projects over the last ten years. Pomus will feature olive green and terracotta throughout and recycled table tops and stool bases, sustainable cork and repurposed kitchen equipment sourced from in and around Kent.

Gluten free

Tony, who has recently moved to Margate with wife Becky ahead of the launch after the closure of their Copper & Ink restaurant in Blackheath Village, says a gluten-free menu and low waste will be essential hallmarks of Pomus.

He said: “Both Ryan and my wife are gluten intolerant. My menu is 100% gluten-free, we want the menu to be accessible to as many people as we can. We don’t want someone to come in and feel like a second-class citizen because they can’t eat what everyone else is having. So, when I design the menu it is gluten free, and also dairy free where I can as long as I can make the dish as tasty.”

Tony says the menu will also cater for vegetarian, vegan and pescatarian diets, adding: “We want people to come in and say ’brilliant’ because they do not have to feel awkward by asking for changes. The whole menu is accessible to everyone, you just come in and enjoy it.”

The menu will include seasonal bar snacks, small plates and generous larger sharing dishes; showcasing the very best local British produce, from suppliers such as East Kent Growers, Whitstable Oyster Fishery, Northdown Butchers, Moons Green Charcuterie and Cheesemakers of Canterbury.

The wine list at Pomus will champion the best of British bottles from award-winning local producers, such as Chapel Down, West Well, Gusbourne, and Balfour; as well as  new artisan wines from boutique suppliers, and offering a different drop available each day for £5 a glass.

The drinks list will also include a ‘made-in-house aperitif’ using botanicals native to Kent, and seasonal cocktails such as a rose hip negroni or citrus rum punch, alongside a signature ‘house spritz’, also priced at £5 a glass.

Low waste

Low waste will feature in the kitchen, both as a measure of being environmentally responsible and because making the most of ingredients is good business sense.

Tony said: “It is a combination of trying to be a responsible chef for the environment and for the business, the more you buy, the more you spend and if you are throwing away more it is bad for the environment when you can be trying to get the most from the ingredients.”

Inspired by the frugality and inventiveness of Gastrologik restaurant in Stockholm, Tony says the aim is to use seasonal goods but to also stretch those by creating pickles, powders, pastes and purees which add vibrant flavours when the ingredient is out of season – such as using roe to add flavour to curries or sprinkled as a powder on poppadoms.

‘Feeling at home’

Pomus being a ‘second home’ spot for isle residents is also high on the list for Ryan and Tony.

Tony said: “A key thing for us is generosity and hospitality. Ryan and myself are both Greek-Cypriot and so it is all about bringing people together, having nice conversation and feeling at home and comfortable and we want to do that at Pomus.

“We want everyone to feel at home whether they are coming in for a glass of wine and then leaving, or having a carafe and snacks or a couple f bottles of wine and grazing all day and evening.”

Tony says the prices will also reflect that ethos, “offering good quality at a good price” so people will want to return both in and out of the busy season.

He added: “We are focusing on the locals of Thanet and purposely chose a site slightly further away from the seafront so when in the summer the seafront is rammed we will be somewhere locals can have a bit of respite.

“We want everyone to come in and see this as a comfortable place with affordable prices and food that does not have barriers of complicated techniques or ingredients but tastes amazing.”

Isle employment

Pomus will also be providing eight jobs for two chefs, two kitchen porters and four front of house staff in addition to Ryan and Tony.

Tony says it will be “a relatively big team” to make sure the busy season is covered while still giving staff a good work-life balance.

He said: “Margate, and any seaside town, is the summer can be very very busy and we want to provide the best service. Ryan and myself are both in our mid-40s and have been in the industry a long time so know the horrific impact it can have on personal lives and health so we are very conscious about giving people a good working environment, where they are well fed and watered, respected and not over-worked, so they will work 40 hours and have enough time off to rest and spend time with their families.”

‘Family and community’

Ryan and Tony Photo Harriet Langford

Ryan says the opening of Pomus – which is the Ancient Greek word for fruit tree and also symbolises ‘new growth’- is the realisation of a long standing dream.

He said: “My family and I have been holidaying in Margate for many generations. Back in my more rebellious years I used to bunk off school and come to Margate with friends to visit the old Bembom Brothers, which is where the Dreamland amusement park now sits.

“Even back then I said I’d open a bar here, and having now lived in Margate for a while, the time feels right to live out a long standing dream.

“I’ve been a fan of Tony’s food for a while so when he closed Copper & Ink, I decided to reach out in the hopes he would be interested in heading up the kitchen at Pomus and, luckily, he said yes.

“Ultimately, I wanted to partner with someone that champions the industry, and is as passionate about it as I am. We’re also both half Greek-Cypriot, which is a strange coincidence, but perhaps something that has led us to this place together, where family and community are set to be an intrinsic part of the Pomus ethos.

“From the start, we agreed that great value and generosity were essential factors. At Pomus, we want to be led by community, with an accessible menu in a relaxing space, away from home and work.”

Food and drink at The Centre

Pomus is the latest outlet to join The Centre alongside Mariachi Mescal & Tequila Bar, Palms Pizzeria, Curve Coffee Roasters, and Modern Provider Bakery.

Opening hours will be Wednesday – Thursday – evenings, Saturday & Friday – all day and Sunday – daytime.

Follow @pomusmargate for further updates on launch date, soft launch and final menu details.

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