There’s excellent news for Oxford pub-goers and music-lovers alike, with the relaunch of the city’s iconic Port Mahon as a cool new bar and music-venue.

After successfully re-establishing the Half Moon in St Clement’s as a welcoming and vibrant pub for live music, Johnnie Fisher and Cassie Jane have aimed their sights further along the road and thrown their efforts into revitalising the Port Mahon – which was one of the most popular gig spaces in the city hosting up-and-coming local bands, big touring acts and all-day festivals.

The couple have again created a warm and much needed space to showcase local and national artists and are set to see it once become a vital hub for the Oxford music scene. And it opens with a special weekend of music starting on Friday, May 31.

Drafting in popular Oxford DJ and promoter Nelly Wimpenny onto the management team, the trio have their eyes on creating a diverse live music space.

Making the most of their downstairs and function room spaces, we can expect to find anything from international folk groups, to rock & roll and hip-hop or soulful DJ sets – perhaps even from Nelly herself.

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“Through revamping our beer garden and kitchen, the pub will cater to all tastes and needs: sports on the television, classic pub grub on the plate or a sunny spot for an afternoon pint,” says Nelly.

“The Port Mahon team is beyond excited to get the doors open and start giving Oxford an essential part of its musical heritage.”

The pub’s return to music venue could not come at a better time, with popular venue The Cellar being forced to close and other city spaces under threat.

“Having had the pleasure of being a part of the Oxford music scene since 2005, I’ve seen first hand the importance of grass roots, small venues to help nurture new talent, helping them get better at performing, engaging with crowds and building momentum,” Nelly says.

“At a time when, nationwide, we are have a crisis with small venues closing at the will of big developers, and our own loss of The Cellar and Purple Turtle, to be involved in the resurrection of a legendary venue is a blessing.

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“I’ve seen acts such as Young Knives, Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs, Stornoway and Foals start with tiny gigs just for mates, then go on to enjoy success and recognition, so I know how important it is to have a venue like ours to keep music authentic and give artists the space to breathe and find their own voices.”

Johnnie agrees: “The Oxford music scene has suffered some hard losses over the last few years, and yet here on St Clement’s we have an absolute gem of a venue that was going to waste.

“With our incredible team, I am so excited to open its doors again and give it back to local artists to showcase just how much musical talent Oxford has to offer.”

The Port Mahon, 82 St Clement’s St. Oxford