FOOD BLOG Leo Johnson @ The Rusty Bicycle, Magdalen Road

Looking back at the state of The Rusty when we first took it on, to now, having just celebrated our ninth birthday in January, seems like a lifetime ago.

We’ve gone from strength to strength over the past nine years and it was great to celebrate with the people who have helped get us to where we are today.

It’s crazy to think that we’re nearly a decade old, it’s been a great journey so far and we’re all looking forward to seeing what the next few years have in store – hopefully some big things!

We were fortunate that the East Oxford neighbourhood responded well to The Rusty in the early days and within a few months we were managing to fill the place up most evenings which allowed us to reinvest back into the pub.

Over the years we’ve slowly adapted to the demand from the neighbourhood and this has resulted in us going from a pub that only served booze to a pub that’s now serving breakfast, lunch and dinner.

The success we’ve had with The Rusty has allowed us to fully understand who we are as a brand, which has then given us the confidence to move further afield.

Our goal is to create neighbourhood spaces designed to give the neighbourhood exactly what they want.

A lot of The Rusty regulars are about throughout the day so it seemed only right to open up earlier and serve up some breakfast.

We’ve got a range of treats on offer, from fresh pastries to everyone’s favourite – smashed avocado on sourdough toast.

By opening up for breakfast we hope people will start to see The Rusty as a place that’s inclusive to all.

We want people to use us as a place to suit them, whether it’s for an early morning meeting or for a mums get together for a catch up after the school run, anything goes.

Following the success of The Rusty we expanded into Jericho and opened up The Rickety Press.

The Rickety followed a similar story to The Rusty but we decided to go gastro this time and we even received a Bib Gourmand and Good Food Guide entry for our menu.

We hit the ground running with The Rickety but after a while we realised something wasn’t quite right and we didn’t feel it was reflective of who we were as a brand.

This resulted in us flipping The Rickety on its head and going back to what we did best – creating good old neighbourhood locals.

The Dodo Pub Co. was now fully established and we expanded with the opening of The Bottle of Sauce in Cheltenham.

All three pubs attract different crowds with their own wants and needs – with The Rusty we’re focused on breakfast and brunch.

Looking forward, we want to keep developing the neighbourhood pub model and adapting to the needs of each area. We’re really keen to expand the Dodo brood even further afield and we’ve already started looking at future potential venues, so who knows where we may end up next.

What we do know is that the people of Oxford readily embraced us and this is something we’re confident can happen elsewhere – so watch this space.


The Rusty Bicycle

28 Magdalen Road Oxford


01865 435298