A COCKTAIL bar in Wallingford has closed after just over a year of trading due to cost-of-living crisis.

Soiree, based in St Mary’s Street, first opened in October 2021 but closed last month due to ‘dramatically increasing costs’.

It took two years of planning before the bar opened and the owners tried hard to introduce promotions to continue to be affordable throughout the cost-of-living crisis.

READ MORE: Fire crews rush to 'smoke-logged' flat and avoid hospitalisations

Announcing the closure on Facebook, a spokesperson for the bar said: “Wallingford, it’s been a pleasure, but the time has come. We are sad to say that we have shaken our final cocktail, tinkled our last ivory and raised our last glass.

“Unfortunately, the current climate has taken its toll a lot harder, and a lot faster, than we could ever have imagined and therefore we are left with no other option but to close our doors.

“The costs to run Soiree have increased dramatically in the last six months, and we’ve tried everything in our power to avoid this outcome, but alas we have not been able to overcome this.

“After 16 months, 15 local employees, 20,000 drinks served and a whole lot of fun, we are eternally grateful for the love, support and custom of all our guests.

READ MORE: 'BIG' garden refurbishment for Oxfordshire pub ahead of summer

“We’d like to say a huge thank you to you all, our musicians, our guests, our suppliers and our staff, and without all of you, none of this would’ve been possible.

“It’s been a ball, an honour and none of us would’ve changed it for the world. Thank you Wallingford, the last 533 days have been a Soiree.”

Residents of the town were saddened by the news and have stated the bar will be ‘greatly missed’.

Oxford Mail:

One fan of the bar said: “Saddening to read, although completely understandable. There are many venues in Wallingford which have noticeably empty tables of an evening when you walk by.

“Trading conditions are tough for large town or city venues, so for a small rural market town it must have been an impossible task to be able to make a living. I wish all those folks associated with Soiree all the best for the future.”

Another added: “I am really sorry to hear this. I thought you were a fabulous addition to the town, something different and very lovely. Wishing you well for the future.”

READ MORE: Fallen monk statue set to be repaired - but ownership still unknown

During the short time it was open, the bar won the Muddy Stiletto award for Best Bar in Oxfordshire and Bucks 2022.

Speaking at the time, general manager Stephanie Linaker said: “To have become award winning in our first eight months is mind blowing - thank you so much to everyone who voted for us.”


Read more from this author

This story was written by Gee Harland. She joined the team in 2022 as a senior multimedia reporter.

Gee covers Abingdon, Didcot, Wallingford and Wantage.

Get in touch with her by emailing: gee.harland@newsquest.co.uk

Follow her on Twitter @geeharland