A FORMER pub in west Oxford – now with a new blue hue – will soon reopen following a major revamp.

The Holly Bush on Bridge Street, Osney Island, is being refurbished and is expected to reopen by November.

The beloved boozer has been shut since 2013 and is to be relaunched by a chain that already operates in Oxford after the city council gave the go-ahead earlier this year.

It will be Charles Wells Limited’s second pub in the city, after The Oxford Blue in Marston Street, East Oxford.

READ AGAIN: Pub will soon reopen at Osney Island site

The Bedford-based company said its Pizza, Pots & Pints brand was being lapped up by visitors to its first Oxford site and the formula would be repeated on Osney Island.

The pub will be able to stay open until midnight on Fridays and Saturdays and until 11.30pm on every other day. It will also open at 10am seven days a week.

Oxford Mail:

Labour city councillor for Jericho and Osney Susanna Pressel said: “Most Osney residents are delighted that the Holly Bush will be opening soon – and as a real family pub.

“It is designed to be similar to the Oxford Blue in Marston Street, off Iffley Road.

“The building is being renovated and substantially extended. It may open as soon as next month.

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“The managers are bending over backwards to say all the right things and being as helpful as possible, as good neighbours should be. The city council has put various conditions on the licence, which we hope will make sure that the pub is not too noisy at night, so that it fits in with this quiet residential area.”

Ms Pressel said the brewery told her earlier that the pub could reopen as soon as Thursday, October 17.

In a statement given earlier to the city council, Charles Wells stated: “Charles Wells is a family-owned business which has been brewing and operating pubs since 1876, pubs and beer are therefore our passion.

Oxford Mail:

"This site will be operated in the same style as our other Pizza, Pots & Pints sites, which are in similar heavily residential areas. Community relationships and charitable support is a core pillar of our operating style, and the pub will welcome families and all sections of the community.”

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The company statement added: “By way of background information, our venues have a central food offering which accounts for between 30 per cent and 40 per cent of the weekly taking, seeing artisan pizzas and comfort food created in house by our talented chefs.”

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The pub was used as a shisha lounge until July 2015, when the council rejected a retrospective planning application that would have allowed it to continue.

The Holly Bush was previously owned by brewery giant Greene King. Plans to convert the building into housing were rejected by the city council in 2017.

Oxford Mail:

In May the council’s licensing committee was told 40 residents were concerned the pub could disrupt the island’s atmosphere.