First Look: Oxley’s Tavern & Grillery
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.
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.”
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.
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.
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.