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New opening nears for Oxford Wine Group

Published:  26 September, 2023

The Oxford Wine Group is now set to open its new wine bar on Oxford’s High Street on 2 October in the centre of the city.

Complimenting the Oxford Wine Café in Jericho, the new Oxford Wine Cellar will be a double-fronted, two-story space, with a similar broad wine offer and simple but tasty food.

Speaking exclusively to Harpers, co-owner Ted Sandbach (pictured), best known for his separate Oxford Wine Company merchant business, quipped that his plans to take over Oxford continued apace, saying “it’s been a long, hard slog, but I’m very bullish about this being successful”.

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In addition to the kitchen, the basement or cellar area also has a private room that can host up to 30 people, with permission also granted for pavement seating, which Sandbach said will help add a “good vibrancy” to the venue.

He also predicted that with greater visibility on the High Street compared with the Jericho neighbourhood site, tourist and student footfall would help boost numbers during the day.

The new opening has been six months in the coming, costing a third of a million pounds, said Sandbach, but which was “all generated by the success of the Wine Café, so it’s nice to be starting afresh with a clean slate”.

On the opening, he added: “We are taking the Café team to go across and run the Wine Cellar, so there is a very experienced team going across there. And we’ve had no trouble with staff at all – that was one of my worries – so I don’t think there will be too many hiccups along the way.

Sandbach, who has stepped back a little form the day-to-day running of the three sites comprising The Oxford Wine Company, remains firmly involved in the wine bar side. His son George, who owns Sandy’s Piano Bar (almost opposite the new site), also holds a directorial share in The Oxford Wine Group, which comprises the Café and now The Oxford Wine Cellar.

The Oxford Wine Company topped Harpers 50 Best Indies listing earlier this year, singled out by judges for the “passion and professionalism” that infuses the business.