A pub in Cornmarket in Oxford has been given the go-ahead for new outdoor seating.

The Plough now has tables and chairs outside its entrance in Cornmarket and also in St Michael's Street. 

There is enough seating for about 30 customers on each side of the pub.

READ MORE: First look inside The Plough after refurbishment

The new seating was introduced after the pub's owners were granted a pavement licence by the city council.

Additional outdoor seating was popular for pubs during the pandemic as some drinkers wanted to avoid being in packed indoor bars.

Oxford Mail: Seating outside The PloughCity council spokesman Tony Ecclestone said: "We have granted a licence to The Plough.

"The licences are granted under the pavement licensing system introduced during Covid by the Business and Planning Act.

"They aren’t permanent, and new licences must be applied for after they expire.

"Currently all pavement licences can only last for a maximum of one year.

"If we receive a complaint, we will investigate and take appropriate action where it is reasonable and necessary to do so."

Elliott Fluin, one of the bar staff at the pub, said: "We're a family-friendly dog-friendly pub and we are trying to offer as much as possible to cater for everyone.

"When the better weather comes in the spring we now have these designated outside seats.

Oxford Mail: Elliott Fluin, right, serves a customer"You can have a drink underneath the parasol umbrellas and watch people walking by and there are some heat lamps with the seats in St Michael's Street."

The pub closed in October for a makeover, and then reopened under new ownership by City Pub Group, which also owns St Aldates Tavern and the George Street Social cafe-bar.

Soon after City Pub Group bought the business from local entrepreneur Chris Mulhall the company was taken over by Young’s.

Previously called the Plough at 38 but now branded as The Plough Inn, its “newest and most historic pub” claim is based on the fact that the old building functioned as an inn for centuries.

Oxford Mail: Seating outside The PloughHistorical records show that it was first recorded as an inn in 1656 but it closed as a pub in the 1920s, later becoming a branch of menswear chain Austin Reed.

When that closed in 2016, the building became derelict until a 'soft' reopening in December 2018 with full trading starting the following month.

It made a successful start, with a pub/café atmosphere on the ground floor and a restaurant upstairs, according to the Oxford Drinker, the magazine of real ale group CAMRA.

But the first Covid lockdown came little more than a year after its opening, and all pubs struggled during 2020-21 with lockdowns and restrictions, although The Plough was able to add some pavement seating before it was later removed.

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About the author 

Andy is the Trade and Tourism reporter for the Oxford Mail and you can sign up to his newsletters for free here. 

He joined the team more than 20 years ago and he covers community news across Oxfordshire.

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