ILL health combined with rising rents has prompted a Cowley Road cafe owner to close up.

The Bear & The Bean has been trading for the past three years and has attracted a loyal following.

But manager Jordan O’Shea has now announced the cafe is to close next month.

He said on the cafe’s Facebook page: “It is with immeasurable sadness to let you know that The Bear & The Bean has to close down by the end of May.

“To me, the owner, this was so much more than just a shop.

“This was a community, a family, a common room for outsiders, a place where I’d start my day with a coffee and end it with a new friend.

“Thank you all for making the past three years so truly special and for making the place feel so alive, so fun, so creative, so memorable.

“Long live the Cowleyfornia Coffee Club. All our love forever, Jordan & The Bears x.”

The cafe grew out of Mr O’Shea’s Bear on a Bicycle Records – a collective specialising in uniting creative media.

Mr O’Shea, 26, who previously worked at Truck Store is also a performing musician.

But he told the Oxford Mail the cafe was closing as a result of a combination of factors - his ill health and rising rents on Cowley Road.

He said: “I lived in Cowley for six years. I started the Bear on a Bicycle collective and through that started working at Keen Bean Coffee Club in Truck Store.

“Combining the record label and love for coffee The Bear & The Bean was born three years ago and has been the most incredible adventure.

“We’ve had exhibitions of artists from Oxford to Iran to Australia.

“We’ve had punk shows, poetry nights and political gatherings; book launches and drunken table tennis evenings. It’s been a dream come true.

“Sadly, I’ve become ill as of late and so have had to put elements of my life on hold until I can bounce back.

“I’m sorry that The Bear & The Bean has now suffered because of this."

He added: “I hope Cowley Road can afford to stay special, and can also stay strong alongside the Westgate monstrosity and the high rents that naturally challenge the independent traders and the arts.

“It’s a truly wonderful community to be a part of and it’s been an honour to be so involved with it.”

Mr O’Shea said the cafe would shut on May 28 and a farewell party would take place next month.

The cafe owner has not revealed details of his illness.

It is understood he is currently living in Sheffield.

The Bear & The Bean sells speciality coffee, craft beer and indie gifts and is open seven days a week. There are a large number of coffee shops in Cowley Road, including Mostro at Truck Store.