NEWS that Oxford coffee shops Combibos and Starbucks are shutting down is merely the latest episode in a series of closures for food and drink outlets in the city. 

Family-run Combibos Coffee claimed Oxford had ‘lost its sparkle’ after shutting this week, and blamed the council for prioritising Westgate.

The Oxford Times:

Meanwhile, Summertown's Starbucks mysteriously closed, despite still being listed as a branch on the coffee giant's website.

The Banbury Road shop now has blacked out windows and no signage in place.  

The closures follows news that two restaurants serving Indian food have shut in Oxford in as many months. 

The Oxford Times:

Street restaurant Thali is closing its doors, just a year after replacing Giraffe in George Street.  

In a double wammy for lovers of Asian cuisine, Westgate's Rola Wala also closed after less than six months in business. 

The Oxford Times:

The Bear and The Bean Cafe shut its doors in May, with the owner citing his ill health and rising rent prices. He said it was with 'immeasurable sadness' that he was shutting the Cowley Road cafe. 

And Buttery Restaurant in Broad Street shut after 'fighting a losing battle' against competition and loss of footfall.

The Oxford Times:

In the same area, a cafe for homeless people set up on the site of an old Lush store, was also been forced to shut. Action group Homes4All said they were 'devastated' to close. 

But its not all bad news for the city, with a number of new venues opening elsewhere. 

Aside from a number of cafes opening in Westgate, a number of independent cafes are also coming to the city. 

In Summertown, news that Indian restaurant Saffron was closing to merge with Jamals in Walton Street, was followed by hopes that a new pub and restaurant could spring up in its place. 

A former teacher at Cherwell School, Mike Rowe, took the plunge earlier this year to open Cafe Bap in Abingdon Road. 

Meanwhile a new youth cafe is set to open in Botley. Thanks to a council grant, Branches aims to be a safe and social venue for youngsters. 

The Oxford Times:

A popular Cowley pub intends to open a 'Pavement Cafe' outside its front doors near the Templars Square shopping centre. The William Morris had been threatened with closure last year but hopes to expand in the near future. 

And Oxford University are hoping to get in on the act, by opening a new exhibition centre complete with a cafe. The Radcliffe Science Library proposals were announced last month. 

TripAdvisor claims Oxford has 501 restaurants, of which 70 are cafes.