Mixed fortunes for Oxford veterans

Two longstanding Oxford eating institutions have experienced contrasting fortunes following recent changes in trading conditions: Gee’s (pictured), which has occupied a Grade II listed Victorian greenhouse in wealthy North Oxford for 40 years, is doubling its capacity following a million-pound makeover, while the Nosebag in the city centre has closed down permanently after 51 years.

The Nosebag served its last meal at the end of April, citing the effect of the pandemic on its older clientele combined with a shift in the city’s footfall following the extension of the Westgate shopping centre five years ago.

One visitor on its last day, student Polly Walton, told the Oxford Mail she was the fourth generation of her family to eat at the restaurant. “My great grandmother lived in Oxford, and my dad’s earliest memories are coming to The Nosebag.”

Meanwhile, Gee’s is set to reopen at the end of May following a 10-week revamp that incorporates space behind the greenhouse as well as the property next door, to double total capacity to 220 covers. New additions include Gee’s Gallery, an art gallery with private dining for up to 50 guests, and Gee’s Secret Garden, a heated private terrace for up to 60 diners.

Jeremy Mogford, who founded Gee’s as a restaurant in 1982, said: “We are investing well over one million pounds in creating a very special and unique destination within Oxford. We are bringing Gee’s cooking facilities into the 21st century with the latest equipment, along with much improved working conditions for our chefs.

I would also like to say that we are making a huge, post-Covid declaration of faith in the wonderful potential of our city.

Share this article: