The Oxford Tavern has had a few lives. For many years the den on Crystal Street housed strippers, topless barmaids and a jelly wrestling arena. In 2013, the Drink & Dine group renovated the place and left nods to the previous occupants in the neon signs and some cheekily named desserts.
Now, the next stage of the pub’s life has arrived. Brothers James and Josh Thorpe are giving the Oxford Tavern the craft beer treatment. Owners of The Taphouse in Darlinghurst, known for its wide range of inventive and unusual ales as well as curated natural wine list, the Thorpes are taking the best of The Oxford Tavern and putting their own spin on things.
The Black Betty Smoker which occupies the alley behind The Oxford Tavern remains, and will be utilised for a Sunday roast.
Being located just up the road from Sydney’s craft beer capital, the brothers are keen to focus on ‘hyper-local’ breweries, those within a 5km radius, and are looking into getting even more experimental.
“We’d love to brew our own beer for the pub - ridiculous, commercially unviable beers that are tasty and a lot of fun. Everything from hazy to barrel aged, sour and even smoked”, says Thorpe.
On January 26 the new owners will launch a mango and turmeric Neipa, in collaboration with Capital Brewing Co., to celebrate the new arrangement. A taste of things to come, there’ll be no guess what will be on the taps at the new Oxford Tavern.