The Oxford Tavern
This Petersham pub has reopened with a leafy beer garden and focus on craft beer.
March 13, 2019
Inner west pub goers will no doubt be familiar with The Oxford Tavern — the Petersham pub is known for its barbecue (sweetly dubbed Black Betty) and sunny courtyard. But, since the pub changed hands in January, it's synonymous with something else: craft beer.
Brothers James and Josh Thorpe — who currently own Darlinghurst beer pub The Taphouse and, more recently, its sour ale and natural wine bar Odd Culture — cite the pub is one of their favourite inner west venues, and, since getting the keys at the start of the year, they've injected it with their passion for local beer.
The Oxford Tavern bar now has 13 beers on tap (with three more coming), all pouring beers from locally owned, independent breweries made within a five-kilometre radius of the pub — at the moment you can get your mitts on brews from The Grifter, Yulli's, Nomad and Wayward. If you don't want a beer, you can opt for an Aussie gin with tonic, a spritz or a cocktail jug made with soda from PS40. Happy hour runs from 5–7pm Monday to Friday with schooners, wines and Aussie spirits all just five bucks.
The kitchen's smoked barbecue offering Black Betty won't be going anywhere — it's still been pumping out about 200 kilograms of meat each weekend. It is doing some different offerings, though, including a barbecued version of The Taphouse's signature Sunday roast and an all-vegan offering on Thursdays — along with $7 pints of Yullis and $10 glasses of natural wine.
The courtyard has had a green makeover, too, and now looks like it's permanently hosting a plant sale. Excitingly, Friday nights will be dedicated to live music, with No Hot No Play kicking off the festivities. And, in addition to a sprawling craft brew offering, there are plans to eventually install a brewery on-site and launch a beer label.
This is not the first time the pub has changed hands in recent years. It was taken over and given a completely new life by the Drink 'n' Dine Group — which, when it was still operational, was run by Jaime Wirth, who just re-did The Duke — back in 2012. It was then sold to (what's now known as) the Australian Venue Co. in 2016, who were reportedly looking for new publicans to run The Oxford Tavern last year. The pub appears to have sold instead.
First image: Katje Ford.