A wine bar in Oxford looks set to become a Japanese restaurant.

Wilding opened in Little Clarendon Street in 2021 on the site of the former Cafe Rouge.

New chefs Michael Carr and Ben Wood were appointed in August last year to create a new menu, both bringing years of Michelin star cooking experience.

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But now the wine bar and restaurant is expected to close after dinner is served on Saturday night, with restaurant chain Kibou expected to take over the premises.

An application to transfer the premises licence has been made to Oxford City Council.

Staff at the restaurant confirmed the restaurant would open for the last time on Saturday but would not comment further.

Some of the dishes on May's menu seem expensive.Oxford Mail: Kent Barker, centre with chefs Sixty Day Aged Rib Eye of Beef, with Beef Fat Bearnaise - 350g will set you back £68.

And Lake District Farmers Rare Breed Pork Chop, with Salsa Verde costs £30.

A selection of cheese from Jericho Cheese Company adds £15 to the bill.

There are about 40 covers in the restaurant, including tables outside. There is also a garden.

Oxford Mail: Wilding in OxfordIn August, Wilding's owners said after establishing a strong reputation for its wine, seasonal dishes, elegant surroundings and laid-back atmosphere, it would unveil a seasonally-led modern British menu that had been crafted to complement and elevate its wine list.

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And it would match the best ethically-sourced meat and seafood with Mr Barker's wine collection.

Mr Barker, owner and wine director of Wilding, said at the time: “I couldn’t be more excited to welcome Michael and Ben to the team, as we look to elevate the menu to match our exceptional low-intervention wine list.

"Michael and Ben are a tried and tested partnership – they each bring their own personality and cooking styles to the kitchen to create something even greater than the sum of its parts.

"Wilding is the culmination of a lifelong journey for me, and I feel we can now deliver the full realisation of the Wilding concept; re-wilding the dining scene with a refined, indulgent and fun experience built around the very best sustainably sourced wine and food.

"Between Michael, Ben and myself, we have a unique set of skills and knowledge, and we hope to add something truly special to the Oxford dining scene.”

Mr Wood was at the restaurant today but he would not comment, and provided contact details for the owner.

Oxford Mail: Wine at Wilding

Oxford Wine Company also has a wine cafe a short distance away in Little Clarendon Street, sometimes known in the city as 'little trendy street' for its mix of eateries, delis, charity shops and pub.

It is not yet known when Kibou will open.

The chain runs restaurants in Battersea, Cheltenham, Solihull, and Cambridge.

The Westgate Centre features Japanese restaurant Sticks 'n' Sushi on its rooftop terrace.

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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.

His Trade and Tourism newsletter is released every Saturday morning. 

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