There has been an outpouring of shock and sadness at news that the popular Oxfordshire gastropub Jacobs Inn in Wolvercote closed last night after 10 years of trading.
“Jacobs Inn will be immortalised for ever in our customers minds”
Landlords Johnny Pugsley and Damion Farah have failed to come to an agreement with brewery Marstons about renewing their tenancy and handed back the reins last night.
The new tenants will be reopening the pub under a different name imminently.
“things have changed – Brexit and Covid made sure of that – and hospitality is a very different place now”
“The number of people who have contacted and messaged me since hearing the news has been amazing,” Johnny says.
“There’s been a real outpouring of grief with so many customers getting in touch to tell us they proposed at Jacobs Inn or went on their first date there, so I know Jacobs Inn will be immortalised for ever in their minds,” Johnny says.
We had 10 glorious years at Jacobs Inn and some lovely memories but it had run its course.
So is he devastated? “We are being as matter of fact about it as possible because the hospitality landscape is so different now to what it was 10 years ago that we are just focusing on other aspects of the business now.”
Planning to open a new Jacobs & Field in Oxfordshire imminently (watch this space) Damian and Johnny are also still running the Headington branch and The Woodstock Arms.
“It’s been a journey, and an amazing one at that, but now we will be focusing on other things. We had a great time at Jacobs Inn but things have changed – Brexit and Covid made sure of that – and hospitality is a very different place now not suited to big scale operations.
“We burned bright and had a great time at Jacobs Inn, but people want different things now. So in a way with rising costs and staff shortages it’s a headache we no longer have to deal with.
“We burned bright and had a great time at Jacobs Inn, but people want different things now”
“But we will always keep Jacobs Inn close to our hearts. It’s sad but that’s the risk when you have a tenancy rather than a lease or tenure, you are beholden.”
Having given up their pubs The Plough in Bicester and The Red Lion in Islip during Covid, Johnny adds: “We are not looking at this as a negative. We had 10 glorious years at Jacobs Inn and some lovely memories but it had run its course. It was not sustainable.”
And having had some wonderful meals there over the years we wish Johnny and Damion all the luck with their next projects.