Big news people, Botley is getting a state-of-the-art new restaurant due to open soon! And we’ve been given a sneak peak of what to expect!
It’s all go when I arrive at Pappo in Botley: The electrics are being installed and the wooden floors revealed for the first time as workmen scurry around Oxford’s newest independent restaurant to get it ready in time.
It’s a huge space at Pappo, situated within the shopping precinct of Botley‘s new regeneration scheme, boasting indoor and outdoor dining, a curved bar/canteen, a bakery, coffee station, endless tables and huge plate glass windows, with capacity for 100 people.
I’m perched on the cream banquettes with green velvet backs which have already been installed, chatting to two of the new owners Jack Anderson and Bayley Eyley (alongside third partner Michael Ashton) as the construction whirls around us.
“We wanted to create somewhere with a really friendly, buzzing atmosphere”
So what was the brief? “We wanted to bring something to Oxford that you can’t get anywhere else, something a bit different – a multi-purpose restaurant with a canteen which works both day and night,” Bayley explains.
“So for those wanting to pop in for lunch; office workers, residents, tourists, visitors etc they can get something hot to takeaway, try one of our amazing New York deli style sandwiches or just have some home-made cake and coffee,” Bayley says.
“And then in the evening it will become more of a sharing plate menu venue with a Mediterranean slant, cocktails, and somewhere for people to come and hang out, eat, drink and enjoy themselves.
“We wanted to create somewhere with a really friendly, buzzing atmosphere, so it’s now a case of putting our money where our mouths are,” she smiles. “It’s the dream, our dream anyway.”
“We want to offer the best Sunday lunch in Oxford, weekend brunch and breakfasts, and scoop up all the people who normally drive straight past into Oxford”
Plus, we have a bakery here and as seasonal food is very much what we are about, so you can imagine how fresh everything will be,” Bayley says, which is where Jack comes in.
Jack has been running Nood cake company in Oxford with his partner and fellow chef Heather, and anyone who’s been to their pop-ups or tried their patisserie selection will know what a treat is in store.
And come January, Jack will be heading up the kitchens at Pappo with Dave Phillipps who used to be at The Dashwood in Kirtlington, and currently fine tuning the menus, overseeing the new kitchens and recruiting staff, so it’s all go on that front as well.
Jack’s also just had a baby girl so is understandably rather tired, yet despite all that he’s still fired up with enthusiasm for Pappo: “It’s going to be New York Deli meets Italian finesse,” he says.
“most importantly pappo has to be really affordable and community focused”
“The menu will change every fortnight and will be hugely seasonal. We also want to offer the best Sunday lunch in Oxford, weekend brunch and breakfasts, and to scoop up all the people who would ordinarily drive straight past into Oxford,” he says. “Well now they don’t have to.”
“So most importantly it has to be really affordable and community focused – you’ll be able to get a hot lunch cooked in front of you by a chef for £7.”
Spending a huge amount of time on the wine list, and with a sleek, cosy and relaxed decor planned with a colour scheme of gold, black, cream and green, everything on the restaurant floor is mobile, so can be reconfigured to accommodate functions and big parties. In short, they’ve thought of everything.
“We are all quite entrepreneurial, and have worked together for years, so we’ve been talking about doing this for a long time,” Bayley says,
January 5 is D-Day and the Pappo gang are already confident of an enthusiastic welcome when they finally open their doors. “So many people have popped in or stopped us to ask what we are doing and to encourage us. They are so delighted they will finally have somewhere to go so it’s really exciting. We can’t wait,” Bayley says.
Due to open from 7am-11pm every day, except Sunday night, one thing’s for sure, Pappo will be like nowhere else in Oxford.
For further details – Watch this space!