Time Gentleman please? Not necessarily

The Rickety Press, Jericho, Oxford

The Rickety Press, Jericho, Oxford - Credit: Archant

In August this year, the publishers of The Good Pub Guide announced that up to 4,000 pubs would close in the next 12 months, because they were ‘bad pubs’, offering indifferent food, drink, service and surroundings.

However, it expected that well over 1,000 new pubs would open, with new licensees bringing fresh life to former pubs that had been shuttered for months or years. There is no doubt that with cheap supermarket booze and rising utility prices, the hospitality industry has a battle on its hands, but most of us don’t visit a pub just to drink, we go because we want to have a good meal or meet up with friends.

Success for The Rickety Press

The Rickety Press, on Cranham Street, Jericho, Oxford has been on the up since Wiltshire family brewery Arkell’s bought it in 2011. At the time it was a backstreet pub called the Radcliffe Arms owned by Scottish and Newcastle Brewery, which had closed the previous July due to a lack of trade.

Arkell’s, however, saw it’s potential and refused to be put off by its down-at-heel appearance. Brewery director, George Arkell, said: “The pub was in a good location, just off the main shopping area of Jericho, but it needed a total refurbishment and a great landlord, so we put in both. And in fact our landlord Chris Manners has been so successful that we’re having to invest more money to make the pub bigger less than two years later.”

And now the Rickety Press pub is celebrating being one of just 27 new establishments in Great Britain and Ireland to have been awarded a Michelin Bib Gourmand award, which recognises places where you can eat three courses for £28 or less. Places with Bib Gourmands are those that Michelin inspectors feel deliver the most value to customers and which are an ideal resource for consumers looking for the perfect meal at a reasonable price. Landlord Chris Manners, 27, is absolutely thrilled, especially as the pub is coming to the end of a two-month renovation. He is one of the country’s most successful young landlords, having successfully launched and run another Arkell’s Oxford pub, The Rusty Bicycle on Magdalen Road (formerly

The Eagle which Arkell’s bought in 2009 and which is now one of Oxford’s busiest pubs). At The Rickety Press he had the challenge of living up to his reputation as a fixer by turning around a pub which had been closed for nine months. “It was a big job, but we could all see its potential,” said Chris. “If a pub is in the right location, everything is possible and so it’s proved here.”

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George Arkell added: “Chris makes it sound easy but it’s not. He’s put in long days, long nights and all his energy into making the pub a success. For him, the payback is seeing customers come back again and again – and the Michelin Bib Gourmand is an even more public acknowledgement of his success.”

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