Were you even a student in Melbourne over the past 50 years if you didn't put the world to rights (or just sip a pint or three) at Melbourne CBD student haunt the Oxford Scholar? After a few years in the wilderness, the old lady is back, and she's had quite the makeover.
The heritage-listed venue dates back to 1857, and given its close proximity to Melbourne University and RMIT (not to mention its until-now rather deceptively salubrious name), it has always been a popular student watering hole. But disruptions around the Metro Tunnel Works resulted in its closure in 2017.
Now it's back, with a lavish renovation by March Studio, which has incorporated multiple dining and bar areas, as well as a plant-filled courtyard for warmer days. It's still uni-student friendly. The top two floors feature bookable function areas exclusive for RMIT staff, student and alumni, and locals can get a 10 per cent discount on food and drinks via the Oxford Scholar app.
Food-wise pub-goers can expect old-school pub grub alongside newer classics like spinach and goats cheese ravioli, Korean beef ribs or crispy tofu curry. And there'll be local and international craft beers, cider and wine. A bit different from the pot of Carlton and a parma of yore, then.
Open Mon-Fri 8am-midnight, Sat noon-1am, Sun noon-11pm.
427 Swanston Street, Melbourne, theoxfordscholar.com.au