Oxford Tavern, Petersham – Jelly Wrestling Redux

Oxford Tavern

The Oxford Tavern in its prime (photo courtesy of Newtown Graffiti)

I have to admit that I actually did catch the jelly wrestling at the Oxford Tavern. It’s one of those places that’s impossible to miss, situated on the corner of Crystal Street and New Canterbury Road and a direct shot from Leichhardt to the Portuguese chicken shops of Petersham. I was always curious about the place, but never took the initiative to visit until an English girlfriend of mine decided to hold her birthday party there. Gorgeous girls inviting you to drink with them and watch other gals slug it out in Jell-O in the wrestling arena. I went in the name of friendship. Obviously.

The birthday girl had promised to get in and actually do a wrestling match, but she chickened out at the last minute. Her loss. The wicked ways of the Oxford are now officially gone. As of this week, it is now the newest hipster bar from the Drink ‘N Dine  folks who’ve brought us The Norfolk, Queenies, Santa Barbara and House of Crabs. There may still be some wickedness about, but it will certainly be more respectable. Possibly. You can still pretend to be naughty if you order one of the “Swinging Tit” cocktails (if you guessed that’s pisco, sage, hibiscus and pineapple, you’re a better man barman than me).

Here are the full press deets, folks. Pool tables, pulled pork and, yes, even a ladies night. Hey, at least they didn’t go all schmick on us. But if Petersham is on the cool-kid map, the rest of the dominos in the Inner West are sure to follow soon. Expect your next Twothousand bar reviews to come from Sydneyham, Tempe and Ashfield.

After that, the only logical place left for the fringe will be out West. Time for you real estate guys to start sniffing out Auburn and Lakemba. The ‘Outy’ (outer inner west) is now officially the new underground. You heard it here first:

The Oxford Tavern

The Oxford Tavern opens on December 13th, 2013. Previously infamous for all the wrong (right?) reasons, it’s Drink N Dine’s first foray into the Inner Wild West. The strippers have gone, so have the pokies, but the food and booze is back with a schnitzel-fuelled vengeance.

It’s a neighbourhood boozer. Beer barn with sports and plenty of taps out front, while out the back Rita’s Lounge is a late night honky tonk open till 3am. A grand piano, jungle beer garden and the worlds longest* bar alsoawaits.

On the menu are Asado Steak Tacos (with house made tortillas), a Hickory Burger, Buffalo Cauliflower & Chook San Choy Bow (yes). But it’s not all fancy pants, the pub staples are stage side too- stadium sized Double Dogs, Sausages & Sauerkraut, Steaks, and Schnitzels. From the beer garden the Tavern’s custom steel drum smoker will also serve Smoked Brisket, Pulled Pork, Brontosaurus Ribs, Smoked Sausage and lots more.

Pull up a stool and get busy drinking. There is a huge beer selection. If you don’t like beer, that’s cool. There’s plenty of beer and there is also some beer to choose from. Do you cocktail? Take a Slow Dazzle (Black Strap Rum, Campari, Lime, Pineapple), wear a Black Velvet (Stout & Champagne), relax in a Banana Hammock (Sugar Cane, Rye, Banana, Lime), or witness A Swinging Tit (Pisco, Sage, Hibiscus, Pineapple). Plus a throwback wine list to help you reek of the sexy seventies.

There are weekly specials like steak night, ladies night, $3 tacos and $10 burgers as well as pool tables! Something for everyone, all the time.

The Oxford Tavern is open seven days a week, from 12pm till late with Rita’s staying open til 3am Fridays & Saturdays. The BBQ opens on Australia Day and then every Friday to Sunday from midday till it runs out.

Drink ‘n’ Dine was started by Jaime Wirth, Michael Delany and James Miller in November 2010. Together they have opened The Norfolk, The Abercrombie, The Carrington, The Forresters, Queenies, Santa Barbara, The Californian and House of Crabs.

The Oxford Tavern
Cnr of New Canterbury Road & Crystal Street
Petersham NSW 2049


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