The newest pub on Cowley Road in Oxford, The Cowley Retreat, makes the claim it is the oldest pub on Cowley Road in Oxford but I had a run scheduled and any excuse for a new or old pub to visit is a good excuse…you might reasonably think. It used to be the Hobgoblin (visit chronicled here) and might actually have been a pub back into the mists of time but the only words I could pry out of the bartender came when I asked when it changed names were, I think (he mumbled), something about the end of the year. Before I could follow up, he spun on his heels and went to the back of the building to turn up the hip hop so that no one could have a conversation. This was really not a problem as the place was empty save the two of us.
The decor is new, with a fresh coat of paint and the better end of Ikea’s pub trade line of furnishings. There were a few decorations scattered around to make it seem posher than it actually probably is, like the suit brushes on the barometer/weather station next to the chalkboard advertising “Tai Me Up” shooters. Too posh for me.