Kentish Town’s Oxford Tavern set to re-open in April despite flat conversion fears
- Credit: Harry Taylor
The new manager of Kentish Town’s Oxford Tavern has said the pub will reopen at the start of April, allaying fears it was going to be turned into flats.
Aaran Tipping, 40, who previously managed pubs in south west London is currently leading refurbishment at the pub on Kentish Town Road.
It had previously been run by Greene King and was bought in January, sparking fears it was going to be turned into housing. However, Mr Tipping wants to reassure former drinkers, and promises that the new venue will be cheaper to drink in than other pubs in London, without cutting on the quality.
He told the Ham&High: “Everyone I bump into keeps saying that it’s being turned into flats. That’s just not the case.
“The only person who will be moving upstairs is me.”
“People always talk about how expensive to drink in London it is,” he added.
“However it doesn’t need to be, and we’ve got some really good deals agreed on the drinks, including craft beers from West Berkshire Brewery.
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“For food, we will be getting our meat from HG Walter which is absolutely exceptional.
“We’re going for premium quality food and drink with the same overheads as everyone else.”
Work is currently underway to transform it from its “drab and brown” decor to a “rich and eccentric family member’s lounge” atmosphere, according to the new manager.
The previous dining area at the back of the pub will also be taken out, and Mr Tipping has plans to add an unconventional feature into the pub.
“I’ve always wanted to get a tuck shop into a pub, with Pop Rocks, Space Invaders and sherbert, and we’re hoping to do that here,” he said.
The pub was bought by Maverick pubs and West Berkshire Brewery in January, sparking fears that it would be turned into flats.
However Mr Tipping is currently taking on staff, ahead of a soft launch in April and aims to make the venture a lasting success.
“It’s saved and we are investing a lot of money to keep it as a pub,” he said.
Since 2001 Camden has lost 70 pubs – with The Black Cap, the Victoria and the Prince Albert pubs calling last orders in recent years, as reported in the Ham&High.
There are currently 225 pubs left in the borough, down from 295 nearly 20 years ago.