The manager of a restaurant which has been in Oxford for 50 years has told of the community’s “outcry” that it will be closing down this month.

The Nosebag, on St Michael's Street, opened in 1971 and has been a firm feature in the city centre for half a century.

On Wednesday, the restaurant announced that it would be closing its doors for the final time on April 27.

READ MORE: Oxford Co-op announces closure

Posting details of the closure on Facebook, manager Mandy Craigan wrote it was “with sadness and regret” the business was to close.

She added The Nosebag has had the “pleasure and privilege of meeting and working with so many wonderful people” during the years.

Ms Craigan, who has worked at The Nosebag for 32 years, told the Oxford Mail customers were “really sad” to hear news of the closure and there was a “big outcry” on social media.

She said: “I was up on the counter yesterday lunchtime and people were saying ‘why are you closing?’.

“I suppose when something has been here as long as the Nosebag has been, people just assume it will be forever.

“It is nice to think that we will be missed, as so many businesses come and go.

“I think it will leave a legacy and hopefully lots of happy memories for people.”

Oxford Mail: The restaurant will close its doors for the last time on April 27The restaurant will close its doors for the last time on April 27

Ms Craigan says she will miss the community when the restaurant closes, as it has always had “a really good core of regulars” which includes locals, alongside international students.

Camilla Chia, whose family owns The Nosebag, explained the closure was primarily due to the pandemic and said it was “a miracle” the restaurant made it as long as it did after the pandemic.

However, the staff crisis in the hospitality sector and foot traffic moving away from that part of the centre and towards the Westgate Centre, due to the closures of Debenhams and Boswells, also had an impact on business.

She said: “A lot of our clientele were typical Boswells or Debenhams customers and the older generation, whose health was effected by Covid.”

“We have not returned to the sales that we were pre-pandemic, sadly”, she added.

Oxford Mail: There has been an "outcry" from customers about the closure. There has been an "outcry" from customers about the closure.

Ms Chia added the council have not been “very understanding” with the situation and this has resulted in arrears building up.

One of the “real highlights” for Ms Craigan was that The Nosebag hosted a couple of weddings in the last year.

She said: “The fact that people had their first dates here and then when they were tying the knot they came and asked if they could have their reception here, they were real highlights.”


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