The owner of a new independent bar in Marlow said the business is ‘very personal’ to him and will be a ‘welcoming and escapist’ addition to the town’s nightlife scene.

Matt Jolley, 53, worked as the brand director for globe-spanning tiki bar Mahiki for years before setting out on his own, racking up a wealth of industry expertise that he’s keen to put to work in his first solo venture – Monty’s Bar in Marlow, a venue inspired by his travels around the world and the fruits of a long-term labour of love.

Monty’s, which will be located at the former Clayton’s site on Oxford Road, is slated for a late June opening date and, as work gets underway in modifying the bar to fit Matt’s vision, we’ve spoken to him about what locals can expect from the latest addition to Marlow’s bar scene.

After years of “living out of suitcases” and travelling from Mahiki to Mahiki, everywhere from Spain to Sweden, the 53-year-old says it's a relief to settle in as “beautiful” a town as Marlow, which he described as a perfect fit for what he hopes will become, above all else, a “warm and welcoming” hospitality experience.

Though Monty’s will have a member’s club scheme – including exclusive entry after midnight – Matt is quick to clarify that the bar is aimed at a wide-ranging clientele and will define itself by offering high-quality cocktails alongside a rotating 'beach club' menu of dishes from lobster rolls to superfood salads and “really good” cheeseburgers.

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The “passion project” was inspired most directly by his time in the South of France, and Monty’s will have a distinctly Mediterranean ambience, according to its manager, including a garden area with an awning suited to all weathers and a new courtyard entrance.

He said: "It’s so lovely to be launching Monty’s in Marlow because it’s a beautiful area and everyone here is so welcoming. My priority is to create a warm, fun atmosphere for all our guests – I think one of the main things I’ve learned is the importance of paying attention to the little things. It’s about those finishing touches and offering not just a drink or a meal, but an experience.

“What sticks with you from your travels is all the places you encounter. What you like, what your friends like and what you bring home – I want the bar to have that kind of escapist sense to it. 

“We’re planning to have regular parties during the day on Saturdays with live music, and a kind of chilled-out Café del Mar atmosphere on Sundays, as well as hosting local events to help us become part of the community.

“It’s so nice that we are independent and not a chain as there’s so much room for creativity. The food is hopefully going to change depending on the season, and in the winter the décor will have more of an Alpine Lodge feel. There’s already been so much support from people in the area – it’s exciting.”

Monty’s Bar will be open between Wednesday and Sunday from 5pm.