TRUMANSBURG, NY – Trumansburg’s legendary tavern and live music venue The Rongovian Embassy has been put up for sale — but don’t take that to mean that the business isn’t thriving.

According to partial owner and General Manager Kyle Barnhart, the sale is essentially an offer of partnership for a talented and committed chef who wants to be a part of the Rongovian legacy.

“When I got to the Rongo they didn’t really have a chef or a vision for the food,” says Barnhart who took over as General Manager of the Rongo in April. “Their chef Jeremy had left in January or February… when he left, they sort of lost their identity there. When I came on I did a big evaluation of all the departments and where they could improve, and the one spot I was unable to improve upon was to find a new chef to nail the dinner program.”

Barnhart says he’s tried in vain to find a chef through the usual channels, so that prompted the idea of putting the business up for sale. The hope is to draw a talented chef who is willing to invest their time, talent and money into the Rongo, but there is also the possibility for someone to buy the establishment outright.

It’s possible the Rongo might see more substantial changes if it was bought out entirely, but for now, it’s sticking to what made it popular in the first place, and even ramping things up.

One of Barnhart’s first moves when he came on was to hire Angelo Peters (of popular local band Big Mean Sound Machine), who has been handling music bookings for the Rongo as well as other local venues, which led to adding another night of live music on Thursdays.

“We’re not cutting back, if anything we’re adding to the program and adding more to it,” Barnhart says.

(Featured photo from The Rongovian Embassy’s Facebook page.)

Michael Smith

Michael Smith reports on politics and local news for the Ithaca Voice. He can be reached via email at, by cell at (607) 229-0885, or via Google Voice at (518) 650-3639.