ONE of Oxford’s historic city centre pubs has reopened following a £70,000 revamp.

West Berkshire Brewery bought the lease of The Grapes in George Street from The City Pub Company and it closed last month for refurbishment.

READ AGAIN: Microbrewery takes over historic pub The Grapes

Rumours that the pub, thought to date back to the early 1800s, was closing for good were false and staff started serving drinkers again today.

General manager Romy Hewitt, 25, from Wallingford, is in charge of a team of about 10 staff.

Oxford Mail:

She said: “We are delighted to be open and we really want to welcome everyone.

“There’s a 'tradition with ambition' vibe, combining old-school casks, with craft beers.

“We want everyone to feel welcome here - young and old - you can even bring your dog.”

READ AGAIN: A new shade of blue for The Grapes in Oxford

The Grapes is the Berkshire microbrewery's first solo-run pub and it has brought its own beers, together with those supplied by Abingdon's Loose Cannon and Cholsey’s Amwell Springs Brewery Company.

Former Oxford University lab worker Bill Harrison, 70, from north Oxford, was one of the first customers to check out the refurbishment.

Oxford Mail:

He said: “I sat at the bar and had a pint of West Berkshire Brewery lager called Renegade.

“I got a good welcome and I will definitely come back.”

Tom Lucas, managing director of West Berkshire Brewery, was also among the first visitors today.

He said: “It’s such a beautiful pub and it had been a traditional boozer.

“I love boozers but we wanted The Grapes to be more inviting and comfortable and I think we have achieved that.”

Oxford Mail:

Money has been invested in the cellar and traditional Victorian-style floor tiles have been installed along the bar, to complement handmade wooden booths.

The staff team is now inviting members of the public to come forward with any old pictures of the pub which they can hang on the walls.

Oxford Mail:

Mr Lucas added: “Re-doing the cellar was quite expensive but I’m very pleased with the whole refurbishment.”

The refurbishment of The Grapes follows the sudden closure of Pint Shop in George Street in February.

READ MORE: Oxford's George Street - lots of changes afoot

Tony Goulding, pubs officer for the Oxford branch of CAMRA (Campaign for Real Ale), said he was thrilled The Grapes, repainted dark blue outside, has reopened following investment from West Berkshire Brewery.

Oxford Mail:

He added: “The Plough opened in Cornmarket recently and The Holly Bush is reopening in west Oxford so there’s a real renaissance for Oxford pubs at the moment - the scene is buzzing.

“Following the closure of Pint Shop it’s great to have The Grapes back open.

“We’ve got so many good pubs in Oxford now it’s difficult to fit them all in the Good Beer Guide.”

Oxford Mail:

The pub is also serving food including bar snacks, sandwiches and ‘bowls of joy’ including spiced pork meatballs, potato dumplings, baked Oxfordshire cheese on toast and fennel, orange and haloumi salad.

READ MORE: Pictures: Inside Cornmarket pub returning after 100 years

Chips are also on the menu with a variety of sauces. Opening hours are 10.30am until late.