Anchors aweigh as pub opens after makeover

Left to right: Justine Rosser, director of Duke Bars, Sara Robinson, manager, Celine Wills, manager, Fiona Cullinane, chef, Julian Rosser, managing director of Duke Bars

Left to right: Justine Rosser, director of Duke Bars, Sara Robinson, manager, Celine Wills, manager, Fiona Cullinane, chef, Julian Rosser, managing director of Duke Bars

First published in News The Oxford Times: Photograph of the Author by , Council Reporter, also covering Oxford city centre. Call me on 01865 425429

A NORTH Oxford pub which caters for foodies as well as real ale fans has reopened following a major refurbishment.

The Anchor Inn, in Hayfield Road, has reopened after being taken over in June by an Oxford company which runs a number of cocktail bars in the city already.

Julian Rosser, of Duke Bars, has since spent more than £100,000 refurbishing the 1930s pub. Mr Rosser, who runs the Duke of Cambridge in Little Clarendon Street, said: “I am very pleased with how it has turned out. It has been full ever since we opened and we ran out of beer over the weekend.

“We were trying to bring the pub more up to date and still retain its 1930s character. It is now a pub and dining room and we will be putting a couple of private dining rooms upstairs.

“I took it over because I really like the building and I thought it was very attractive and it is in a great area. It just needed a bit of TLC.”

Jamie King and wife Charlotte took over the Anchor Inn in 2006 and made it a gourmet venue thanks to cash from their own pockets and brewery owners Wadworth. The pub featured in the Good Food Guide 2013 and the Michelin Guide 2013.

But the couple left the pub in April after struggling with falling trade and increased costs. The pub is still owned by Wadworth.

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Tony Goulding, of the Oxford branch of the Campaign for Real Ale, said: “It is quite a unique pub and the only one down that end of Oxford because there is nothing on Woodstock Road any more and only one on Banbury Road.

“There are still some pubs which serve only beer but not many. Food is a must in that area. Let’s hope they are successful.”

About 50 pubs have closed in the past five years across Oxfordshire, including 20 in the city.

Lloyd Stephens, Wadworth tenanted trade director, said: “We are very pleased that the Anchor has reopened after its closure in April. Julian Rosser is a very experienced operator.”

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