The Bouverie Tap

The Bouverie Tap

The Bouverie Tap is a new bar restaurant in Folkestone

Owner and Head Chef, Luke Blown, tells us about his start-up journey


The Bouverie Tap is a restaurant serving classic, hearty food, and a bar specialising in local artisan gins, and beer from the best breweries in Kent.

We’ve designed the Bouverie to create a comfortable and welcoming feel, with real wood, deep colours and a selection of war-time memorabilia.

I’ve always wanted to own my own business – I’m a trained chef, from a publican background, with a love of antiques – so this is the perfect business for me.


The bar is nestled in ‘Bouverie Village’ – the parade of shops on Bouverie Road West, at the corner with Castle Hill Avenue. Lots of customers have commented that it looks as if it’s always been there.


The transport links to London mean it’s easy for visitors to get here and more and more people want to move here too. But it’s not waiting to happen – it’s happening now. Some seaside towns only come to life at the weekends but Folkestone’s heart beats all week long.

We’ve been very busy since opening with a good local customer base as well as people visiting the seaside, to see a show at the Leas Cliff Hall, or any of the other good reasons to be in Folkestone.

I’ve taken on some great local staff. They’re good with the customers, hardworking and interested in the business.

There’s lots of investment in Folkestone, which will attract more investment, from small businesses like me and larger companies too.

As if all that wasn’t enough, it’s affordable too – you need that balance when you start a business – it can’t be all about paying out money.


I’ve been lucky enough to get funding support from my family. I’m chuffed they believe in me. I’ve been careful to plan how I spend money, making improvements gradually and not trying to do too much all at once.


The shops in the village support each other. There’s a Facebook page and we’re doing some joint promotion. Having several restaurants close to each other is good because customers see us, may pop in, and may come back another time.


Research your market – give people what they want and be unique enough to offer something different.

Keep it simple – don’t try to do too much too soon and keep within your budget.

Ask for, listen to, and act on feedback from customers and staff.