“it’s a done deal,” Chris Mulhall tells me, proudly dangling the keys to The Fox Inn on Boars Hill.
What has been a pipe dream for Chris for years has finally come to fruition, and he is now the proud landlord of the Oxfordshire country pub.
Having lived in the area all his life, Chris has been eyeing up the pub for a long time so when his friend and chef Tommy Pritchard offered to take it on with him he jumped at the chance.
Chris already runs successful Oxford pub The Plough at 38 and the pair plan to turn The Fox into a foodie destination pub.
Already open, Chris and Tommy plan to close it in January/February for a full refurb and recruit a new head chef ready for the grand re-opening in March.
“We are going to run it through December with Tommy in the kitchen and when we have a new head chef in place he will then become the general manager,” Chris says.
“Then when we find our new head chef, they will have free rein with the menu, so we are just searching for the right person,” Chris tells me.
“We want people to be able to come here and have a really gastronomic experience”
You can see why The Fox was such an attractive prospect to the duo – its potential is enormous – with two huge terraces and views stretching out over the local countryside for miles, plus room for 100 diners and a wonderful series of snugs and dining areas.
So why The Fox? “It’s such an affluent area here and really needs a pub with food that reflects that, so that’s what we are aiming for. We want people to be able to come here and have a really gastronomic experience.
“we will serve really good comfort food, game and of course lots of vegan/vegetarian options. It won’t be fine dining”
“But we will also cater for dog lovers, walkers and shooting parties and reflect the countryside around us and those who live in it,” Chris explains.
“So we will serve really good comfort food, game and of course lots of vegan/vegetarian options. It won’t be fine dining,” put it that way,” he adds.
The bar will be left free for drinkers to make it even more community minded, and besides there are so many other areas for diners to enjoy there, as well as the al fresco space outside, with plans to enclose some of the outside areas and add a pizza oven.
“We want people to come here from far and wide so we are really excited about taking on The Fox. We are going to turn it into a really great pub,” Chris promises.
So watch this space for our progress report, new look and reopening news come next year.