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First Look: Oxley’s Tavern & Grillery

Ayana Wilson Ayana Wilson First Look: Oxley’s Tavern & GrilleryPhotos by Ayana Wilson.
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When Kildare’s Pub, located at 1576 North High Street, closed last year, it seemed to signal a trend for the apparently-flailing Gateway Center, which also saw Finish Line, Charlie Bear: Land of Dance, and grilled cheese emporium, Gooeyz, leave their spots in the south campus landmark.

This past January, the Lamps, owners of Bernard’s Tavern in the Short North, along with new partner, Chip Franz, signed the lease on what is essentially the flagship spot at the Gateway, its location being right on North High Street.

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On July 2nd, Oxley’s Tavern &  Grillery opened. The interior of the 6,500 square feet, 2-level restaurant looks much the same as it always has, save for the signage, but that’s all that’s familiar about this spot.

“We think we’ll be successful here because we are locally-owned and managed, unlike the last two spots that were corporate-owned,” shares co-owner Martin Lamp. “We’re always in the building, always involved. We want to offer something different here from what other places are doing on campus.”

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The menu is simple, but a step above typical bar food. Guests will find burgers, like the PBJ Burger or the Breakfast Burger topped with a fried egg, on the menu, as well as salads, like the Thai Coleslaw Salad with spicy peanut dressing, or a Classic Caesar.

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Oxley’s real mark comes with their sandwiches, however, and that menu is anchored by their signature Big OX Sandwiches: diner’s choice of cheese and meat (a full 6 oz. of turkey, pastrami, or other deli meat), loaded with coleslaw and french fries between 2 thick slices of fresh-baked bread.

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All of the food items at Oxley’s costs less than $10 per, a conscious decision on the part of the owners as their primary clientele are college students. Also for the students: live music weekly on the upstairs stage.

Oxley’s Tavern & Grillery has 120 chairs, but can accommodate twice that number on a busy night. The space has 3 patios – 2 downstairs (one along North High Street, the other along the Gateway walk) that can seat 48, and an upstairs one that can hold 40 seated guests at a time.

There are 23 taps at Oxley’s, half of them serving local brews, as well as a fully stocked bar. Happy Hour runs from 3pm – 7pm, Monday-Friday, and there are drink specials to be had at that time.

Oxley’s Tavern & Grillery is open every day of the week, from 11am till 2am. For more on their daily specials, or to see what band will be playing at what day and time, visit www.theoxleybar.com.

Photos by Ayana Wilson.

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7 Responses to First Look: Oxley’s Tavern & Grillery

  1. RLBRANSON July 22, 2014 5:01 pm at 5:01 pm

    How does this place look much different than the previous 2-3 Irish pubs that were here before? Also, when using a quasi-madeup word like Grillery they may wanna show some food that looked like it was cooked on a grill.

  2. rdmeeker
    rdmeeker July 22, 2014 6:54 pm at 6:54 pm

    Your comment is irrelevant because that sandwich has both fries AND cole slaw on it.

    Also, Kildare’s was absolutely disgusting.

    • RLBRANSON July 23, 2014 8:27 am at 8:27 am

      I’m no Gordon Ramsay but do people put fries or cole slaw on a grill? Your comment may be truly irrelevant. Bernard’s has always been in the bottom 1% of short north cuisine. Hopefully this new place will make a stronger effort.

  3. buckeyecpa July 22, 2014 6:55 pm at 6:55 pm

    I wish I was able to say the food was enjoyable but I’m unable to. Between 3 of us, not one thing came out ok. Everything seemed like it came out of a store brand frozen bag. I wish they spent a little more effort on the quality of food. Instead they thought college kids and went cheap. The kids don’t seem to be into low quality food when going to a sit down spot these days.

    As for happy hour…it wasn’t so happy. We arrived a little more than 15 before happy hour ended not realizing it. We asked for the happy hour info. Our server stated it was about to end in 15min so we could not get the happy hour prices even for the drinks we were about to order.

    • atmapes1 July 23, 2014 7:07 am at 7:07 am

      To be fair, this is on Ohio State’s campus. Also, went there slightly inebriated a couple weekends ago and it wasn’t too bad. They’ve definitely made interior changes that you wont really notice till you actually go. Hopefully it’s here for the long haul, since the Gateway could use another option (I love Ugly Tuna) on the weekends

  4. amazinga37 July 23, 2014 8:02 am at 8:02 am

    I’ve been there and won’t be back. The food was eh and I find it amazing no one is even mentioning the VERY generic menus. That and the plastic silverwear should be a HUGE indication that this is going to be a bad experience. Also, our waitress was clueless about the beer menu. I see it says 23 taps? Hmmm…interesting because she only listed like 5 beers to us and wasn’t able to produce a beer menu.
    The only positive I’ll give it is that it was nice to sit upstairs on the outside balcony and look over High St.

  5. buckeyecpa July 23, 2014 1:22 pm at 1:22 pm

    I think that’s the problem with the thinking. “It’s on OSU’s campus”. Students know when food tastes like the freezer stuff they’ve been making daily at home. They don’t go and spend a drastic markup for someone else to just cook their frozen meals. That mentality has failed other businesses previously.

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