Tess Taylor of Tap Social with OCC's Tom Bridgeman outside Tap's Market Bar

“We are so excited about opening here and pretty determined to make it work,” Tap Social’s Tess Taylor says grinning, as she sits outside Tap’s newest reincarnation the Tap Market Bar, situated slap-bang in the middle of The Covered Market.

enjoy A busy events schedule of comedy, live music, spoken word, poetry, workshops, yoga, author signings, and buskers

Nestled in amongst the new ‘square’ there, framed by other food and drink businesses, a £7 million council investment to transform The Covered Market into a new food and drink hub, includes extended opening hours until 11pm on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays.

Tap at The Covered Market

A busy events schedule; from comedy and live music to spoken word, poetry, yoga, workshops, author signings, and buskers, is also planned to draw in the crowds, the idea being that you can choose your drinks from the multiple traders, and your food, and then sit and be entertained.

And with the likes of Tap, Teardrop Bar, Market Cellar Door, Gulp Fiction, Sartorelli’s pizza, Brothers Café, Colombia Coffee, The Woolhound and Sofi de France joining in the fun, there’s already lots to choose from, with plenty more on the way.

Tap at The Covered Market

Tap’s part in this project has been four years in the making; Covid, licensing admin and planning permission taking up most of that time, but today the Tap Market Bar opens its doors for the first time.

Serving all its own beers, as well as guest ales and a fully stocked bar, Tap is ready to enjoy a new demographic of workers, students, tourists and those happy to travel in for a night out in Oxford’s new food and drink hub.

The Tap Social team at Tap Market Bar

“We were really keen to pilot the new scheme in the evenings and be involved. The Covered Market is so special and houses so many great Oxford independent businesses. We felt there was a lot of wasted potential by not opening in the evenings so we are really excited to behave amongst so many other wonderful vendors,” Tess says.

“it will make The Covered Market come alive and bring people back into the city centre at night”

“It just makes sense because the building here is so beautiful and has so much potential. Obviously its daunting to open a new business so we just hope it will be well received.”

And with lots of free coffees and pastries to pull the crowds in over the next few weeks at Tap, the buzz has already started.

Magnus Joye of Sartorelli’s

Magnus Joye from Saratorellis is equally as excited: “It’s such a great way for The Covered Market to move forward and attract lots of different demographics, to give it a real spark and allow people to stay later for a meal and a drink. Our regulars are really delighted already because they have always complained that we close too early,” he says.

“we already have lots of potential tenants excited about joining us here”

Stuart McAllister from The Market Cellar Door agrees: “I think it will make The Covered Market come alive. People can come for a drink and a bite to eat before they go to the theatre or before they go home after work. It will bring people back into the city centre at night.

Jessica Thomaz from Woolhound who will be running workshops with Stuart McAllister from The Market Cellar Door

Luciana from Teardrop Bar and Church Hanbrewery said she thought the new hours would create a ‘new vibe which will hopefully bring lots more people in. The pizza, wine and beer offering is going to be very attractive.”

Luciana fromf Teardrop Bar and Church Hanbrewery

Tom Bridgeman, executive director of development at Oxford City Council, was equally as enthused. “We have worked really hard to get this across the line. The main aim is to support the 50 traders here and increase footfall by opening later and encouraging food and drink vendors into the space.

“we want The Covered Market to continue to be an integral part of Oxford’s city centre”

“There is still lots of work to be done. We want to open another ‘square’ with additional seating, tidy up the Market Street entrance to make it the main door into The Covered Market, and improve all the other entrances, but we already have lots of potential tenants excited about joining us here.

OCC’s Tom Bridgeman

“It’s not going to happen overnight but we hope the new hours, food and drink offering and all the events we have planned will make a big difference. So yes, this is a really exciting day that I’ve been looking forward to since joining the council in 2019 and we want The Covered Market to continue to be an integral part of Oxford’s city centre.”

For more info go to: https://oxford-coveredmarket.co.uk