HOTELIER Jeremy Mogford is confident the Old Bank Hotel and Quod restaurant will continue to flourish when The Ivy arrives in the city.

The London-based chain is converting the former NatWest bank in High Street into its latest branch and the restaurant could open later this year.

Mr Mogford, who opened the Old Bank Hotel in High Street 20 years ago, completed a £5m refurbishment at the end of 2018.

Oxford Mail:

After visiting a number of branches of The Ivy, Mr Mogford said: “I’m very confident Quod and the Old Bank will continue to flourish.

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“Over the last, hugely successful 20 years Quod has established itself as Oxford’s leading, busiest meeting place, open all day, all evening and all week, with a walk-in culture.

“The menu is regarded as fantastic value and Quod prides itself on the strong philosophy that all dishes are prepared from scratch on the premises from seasonal, local sustainable sources wherever possible.

Oxford Mail:

“There is a brigade of 30 chefs in the kitchen, many of whom, along with the front of house team, have been with the company for over 10 years.”

Mr Mogford, who also owns the Old Parsonage and Gee’s, said he welcomed The Ivy’s arrival in Oxford’s High Street.

He added: “It is an endorsement of the importance of the historic part of the city and reinforces the notion that the High is being increasingly regarded as the beating heart of Oxford, from the famous colleges, shopping and hospitality perspective.”

READ AGAIN: Work starts on former bank to bring The Ivy to Oxford

Mr Mogford said it was important to realise that part of Quod’s DNA is ‘flexibility’, adapting to customers’ special requests and requirements.

“A rare hamburger or half portion of one of our pasta dishes is never a problem,” he added.

Oxford Mail:

The hotelier said it was important that a buoyant, thriving and balanced High Street, with successful multi-faceted offers, ‘became the evidence that the historic city centre was ‘fighting back against the effect of the Westgate Centre on its immediate surrounding retail streets’.

The branch of The Ivy is being created in the former NatWest building in High Street after Lincoln College submitted plans to redevelop the building, including four apartments on the upper floors.

Oxford Mail:

The construction project is being completed by award-winning Oxford-based construction firm Beard.

Spokeswoman Liz Coyle-Camp said earlier this year: “I can confirm that work has now started in High Street for Lincoln College.

“The ground floor will be converted into a restaurant while the upper floors will be turned into luxury apartments.

“Work is under way and the project is due for completion in November.”

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Plans for the restaurant have shown that there could be space for about 200 diners.

The Ivy restaurant in Covent Garden in London opened in 1917 by Abel Giandolini and Maître d’Hôtel Mario Gallati and is an iconic venue known for attracting famous faces from theatreland.

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There are other Ivy restaurants and cafes in locations including Cheltenham, Bath, Cambridge and Brighton.