A MONTH after its closing down party was held, a popular pub in Oxford’s Cowley Road has been handed a stay of execution.

James Hopkin has taken over the running of the Hobgoblin on a temporary basis after working there for four years.

The pub had been set to close, but owner Punch Taverns says the new arrangement will give it time to let it as a going concern.

Mr Hopkin, 26, said: “It has been part of mine and other people’s lives for quite a while now.

“Now it is staying open, quite a few people have said they will be coming back.

“It’s a brilliant pub.

“It has a very laid-back atmosphere.

“We don’t have sports on TV and people can just come to the pub and have a drink.”

A party was held last month to say goodbye to the Hobgoblin and was attended by more than 150 people.

Mr Hopkin, who was assistant manager, said: “Everyone was happy and upbeat, and wishing the pub well for the future.

“We had students who used to come several years ago right through to regulars.

“The next day we were told we wouldn’t be closing.”

Punch Taverns had attempted to put the pub under new ownership in February after operators Pubs ‘n’ Bars went into administration.

Now Mr Hopkin, who will be running it until a buyer is found, is looking to get it busy again.

He said: “Now I am in charge I can do what I want.

“I will change a few things but keep it student-centred.

“I remember it used to be very busy and we will be keeping our prices low and have discount cards.”

A spokesman from Punch Taverns said: “The Hobgoblin is on the market to let and we are talking to interested parties.”