ITHACA, N.Y. — Trumansburg is about to lose a little bit of its character.

The Rongovian Embassy has announced that it will be shutting down. “The reason it’s being closed is purely financial,” said co-owner and general manager Kyle Barnhart. Staff were notified of the impending closure on Monday.

The “Rongo”, as it’s lovingly called, first opened at One West Main Street in Trumansburg in 1973, and during its operation, it has served as a watering hole, community gathering space and music venue, hosting both humble local bands and nationally-known performers. The current ownership, a consortium of Trumansburg-area residents, reopened the Rongo in November 2014.

Recently, the ownership had been looking for a chef to buy into the consortium. The ownership has also been entertaining the idea of someone purchasing the entire business outright. The Rongovian Embassy has been put up for sale with Pyramid Brokerage, with an asking price of $210,000.

Today is the last day that the Rongo’s kitchen will be open. The venue space still has three concerts scheduled, and those will go on as planned – November 12th, November 19th, and a swansong performance by the Terrapin Flyers Featuring Melvin Seals on Sunday December 4th. A GoFundMe page has been set up in an attempt to reopen the Rongovian Embassy.

Here’s the Facebook post shared by the Rongovian Embassy earlier today:

“We are sad to report that today will be the last day that the Rongo will be open for business as usual.

We’ve tried very hard to keep the Rongo open, healthy, and fun, but we must unfortunately close the doors. While we wish we could just say, “We’re moving the embassy to Canada,” in response to recent geopolitical events, the truth is that we are facing overwhelming financial complications. We did some things well, we did some things poorly, but we did do the best we could to re-establish the Rongo as a community pillar. We have faith that the Rongo will return in some form in the future.

It’s nearly two years to the day when we re-opened under this ownership and management group and while it was short, it really was a ton of fun. Thank you to everyone who made it such a pleasant place to visit! Thank you to the amazing, amazing musicians who graced the Rongo stages during this current iteration. Thank you to the staff that kept the Rongo going every step of the way.

After today, the kitchen will close and we will only re-open (without a full menu) for three more concerts (11/12, 11/19, and 12/4). Thank you for all of your support over the years.”

Brian Crandall

Brian Crandall reports on housing and development for the Ithaca Voice. He can be reached at