Wine bar to make historic opening Benjamin Pettit and Ian Grant are preparing to open the Oxley Wine Bar to the public on September 15.
Armchairs and art deco lamps give the room a cosy feel. Photo FACEBOOK.
The Oxley will serve up wine, beer, music and food. Photo FACEBOOK.
Customers can BYO vinyl records or play some from the owner’s colleciton. Photo FACEBOOK.
The bar will function as a coffee house in the mornings and a wine bar with light meals from midday. Photo FACEBOOK.
TweetFacebookIt’s been the talk of the town since Benjamin Pettit and Ian Grant first filed their development application back in February; and now the Oxley Wine Bar is getting ready to finally open its doors to the public.
“Painful,” is how Mr Grant describes the last few months of renovations, which saw the dated building completely stripped back and refurbished with a new kitchen, bar and courtyard.
It seems all their hard work has paid off though, as the pair prepare to launch the exclusive lower Kendal Street wine bar on Monday, September 15.
Gritty, eclectic and with an old-world charm that will remind millennials of their favourite grandparent’s house, Mr Pettit said a lot of their furnishings came from op shops for budgetary and aesthetic reasons.
“Back at the start of the year when we were still in the planning process and we had a bit of time, we did a few trips around Orange, Bathurst and Young and picked up bits and pieces. We fluked a lot of stuff; a lot of stuff matches up which we didn’t intend it to, a lot of Facebook finds. The orange chairs came from an auction in Canberra so we’ve just been picking bits and pieces up as we’re seeing them,” Mr Pettit said.
“We just came across a lot of things,” Mr Grant added. “The timber from the top of the bar Ben’s father found in a paddock out in Wattamondara. It’s beautiful stuff, we just got lucky I guess.”
They recycled tin sheets and bricks from the recently demolished historic grandstand to use in their courtyard out the back of the bar and have even appropriated an old beer tap as a water dispenser.
During the renovations, they stumbled across plenty of paraphernalia from years past, including a bucket that is telling of the building’s history.
“The story goes Mick Saywaker who used to run illegal gambling downstairs here in the cellar in the late 40s drank this bucket full of beer in just over an hour,” Mr Grant said.
“Apparently he went on to have two servings of fish and chips and lots of schooners afterwards too.”
While there won’t be any buckets of beer on offer, the Oxley will be open for coffee every morning, offer light meals and platters throughout the day and open every night as they find their feet.
“That might tone down further along the track, we might end up only doing half-days on Monday and Tuesday, but if the demand is there for us to be open, we’ll be open,” Mr Grant said.
Weekends they’ll do breakfast Saturday and Sunday, although due to the restrictions of their small bar licence, no one under the age of 18 can be on the premises after midday.
There’ll be live music every Friday, the boys are hoping to run trivia on and off and are planning vinyl nights, which are already proving popular on social media.
Card and game days will be run on certain afternoons and there’s plenty of other ideas in the mix too.
Backed by a huge social media response, Mr Grant and Mr Pettit are hoping plenty of people will drop in during their first few months of operation to check out the place, enjoy a coffee or a wine and give them some feedback.
“It’s been overwhelming. 1100 likes on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, it’s been amazing,” Mr Grant said.
“A lot of times when we’ve hit a block and felt giving up, the social media response has made us realise if we get it right and get it going it’ll be supported,” Mr Pettit said.
They thanked the community for the support they’ve given them so far and asked us to bear with them as they settle into regular service over the next couple of months.
“Because this hasn’t been done before, a lot of it is going to be suck-it-and-see to see what works and what doesn’t. There’ll probably be wine list, beer list, menu changes galore during that early period until we find out what works,” Mr Grant said.
“We just want to say to people thanks for being patient with us, we’re just about there. We’re looking forward to getting the doors open and we’re hoping everyone loves the joint as we’ve come to and takes pride in it being a part of Cowra.”