Managers of an Oxford pub company are asking council bosses to close a road so they can offer drinkers outdoor space as the coronavirus lockdown eases.

Justine Rosser is co-owner of Duke Bars, which runs The Duke of Cambridge in Little Clarendon Street, The Anchor in Hayfield Road, north Oxford, The House bar in Blue Boar Street, and The Crown in Woodstock.

Ms Rosser said she has asked the city and county councils if they would close Little Clarendon Street to traffic on weekend evenings to allow people to drink outside as the Duke of Cambridge has no outdoor space.


The Duke of Cambridge in Little Clarendon Street

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The councils have agreed to shut part of St Michael’s Street in the city centre to allow al fresco dining.

Ms Rosser said: “We have asked other businesses in the street and we have got quite a few places supporting us.

“We have given the The Duke of Cambridge a major refurb and it has a new look along with Covid screens adapted from Ikea picture frames.

“We are hoping the council might agree to closing Little Clarendon Street to traffic on weekend evenings to allow us outside seating and boost trade for us, as the barrier on Walton Street and now the pandemic have hit many surrounding businesses hard.

“At The Anchor in Jericho we opened as a deli during lockdown and have now converted our pub car park into a beer garden - which is going very well.”


Outside The Anchor

Ms Rosser said some drinkers were still a little nervous about drinking inside due to the coronavirus crisis and would prefer to sit outside.

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She added: “Putting tables outside at The Anchor has worked very well and trade has increased as a result.

“Using outdoor space and making sure the indoors are well ventilated is definitely the way forward.

“The Anchor is a community pub and people were very supportive when we converted the car park - we raised £2,500 through crowdfunding.”


Inside The Anchor

The company co-owner said drinkers were being asked to sign up so track and trace data could be collected in case any pub goers reported getting the virus and was working on an app to make data collection easier.

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She added: “We have also signed up with the government’s Eat Out to Help Out scheme for The Anchor and The Crown, which offers 50 per cent off all food and non-alcoholic drinkers. There’s a £10 per head limit per diner."

While The Duke of Cambridge and The House bar focus on cocktails, The Anchor has gained a reputation as a gastro pub and has won positive reviews on TripAdvisor for dishes including rotisserie chicken and chunky chips.

The Crown has five bedrooms.