ABINGDON'S newest bar will welcome its first guests this weekend.

The Tipsy Mercer will open on High Street on Saturday at 4pm, following a major revamp of the former Stan James bookmakers.

And, after a last-minute name change (the bar was originally called The Mercer), the team are ready to start serving cocktails, wines and locally-brewed beers.

New signs are up and the finishing touches to the smart interior, which features a distinctive horseshoe bar, have been completed.


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The business is being run by James Salter, his wife Henrietta Salter-Collins, and her brother Joel Collins.

Oxford Mail:

The bar’s name was chosen to reflect the building’s history of textiles (a mercer is an old word for a fabric dealer), then given a lighthearted tweak.

Co-manager Mrs Salter-Collins said: “We thought the name The Tipsy Mercer would sound more fun than The Mercer and we are really looking forward to opening.

“Hopefully we are offering something different from the more traditional pubs in the town.

“Abingdon has lots of pubs but it doesn’t really have any bars.

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“As well as cocktails we will be serving local craft beers including Loose Cannon’s Session IPA and Little Ox Brewery’s Yabba Dabba Doo.”

Other attractions at the new bar include a baby grand piano upstairs where there is extra seating.

Oxford Mail:

Opening hours will be 10am-1am Thursday to Saturday and noon-midnight Sunday to Wednesday.

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The town’s High Street is being revitalised on both sides, as new gin bar and smokehouse The Old Chemist is also opening opening the Tipsy Mercer, where Smith’s chemists was.

It is understood that The Old Chemist will be ready to open by Easter - this year Good Friday is on April 19.

Oxford Mail:

Joel Collins, 27, a former estate agent, said previously that the team at The Tipsy Mercer was looking to ‘create a bar with a city vibe in a town setting because Abingdon doesn’t really have that at the moment’.

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He added: “We want the bar to help bring some life back to the High Street and offer something a little bit different.”

The Tipsy Mercer will concentrate on serving drinks once it opens but food will also be served in future.

Oxford Mail:

Mr Collins said: “First the focus will be drinks but after we have been open for a while we will look to serve some food, with deli boards featuring locally sourced cheeses.

“We will probably have to wait until a few weeks after we have opened before we consider adding food menus.”

Close to The Tipsy Mercer and The Old Chemist in High Street is the Wetherspoon pub The Narrows, and The Grapes. And a short distance away in Ock Street, on the site of the former Morland Brewery, is The Brewery Tap.

The town centre itself has plenty of pubs including The King’s Head & Bell and The Crown & Thistle.