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Pub hopes on the rise
HOPES are rising that an East Oxford pub that closed will be revamped and reopened.
The Chester Arms in Iffley Fields closed down after the licensee left this month.
It has recently been sold by Punch Taverns for a reported £390,000 to Woodchester Estates, which has already met locals.
Mari Girling, a member of Iffley Fields Residents Association, was impressed when the new owners turned up the association’s annual general meeting.
And they were heartened that the firm seemed keen to revamp and reopen the Chester Street pub.
She said: “We were very encouraged by the owners’ awareness of the recent successful transformations of other local pubs such as The Rusty Bicycle and The Magdalen Arms.
“The local community in Iffley Fields is really excited at the prospect of a makeover of The Chester Arms to restore it to a vibrant community pub.
“The pub is in the centre of the Iffley Fields residential area and has a large garden, an asset unique in East Oxford that makes it ideal as a family pub.
“It also had a thriving and successful quiz team and was a popular venue for local musicians.”
The Chester Arms had attempted to turn itself into a green pub by using only ethically and sustainably sourced ingredients in its kitchen.
Tony Goulding, of the Oxford branch of Camra, the Campaign for Real Ale, said: “ If the owners’ intentions are to keep it as a community pub then we will support that.
“Selling food is the way forward for pubs now, if it is good quality at the right price and if they still cater to the traditional drinker.”
Punch Taverns would not confirm how much it sold the Chester Arms for and the Oxford Mail was unable to contact Woodchester Estates yesterday. In January The Crown and Thistle pub in Old Road, Headington closed down after brewery Greene King deemed it no longer viable while last month The Cavalier in Marston was knocked down to make way for student housing.