Bar Review: Keble

It’s unusual for me to ever agree with anything The Tab says and this case is no different. Keble bar is most definitely not one of the worst in Oxford and I reject the assertion of a possibly fictional “Keble 2nd year” that this bar is an “‘ugly spaceship’”. The bar building is admittedly somewhat incongruous with the other buildings but I kind of like the fact that it’s a bit strange and when you walk in you feel like you’re in The Jetsons or you’re under the sea.

It’s also unusual for a college bar to have its own self-contained building but I personally like it and I think that in terms of practicalities like avoiding noise and/or bumping into your tutor, a stand-alone building is much nicer than one right above a Hall of Residence. Walking in, there are booths which are private enough so that even the most secretive of Union hacks could have a cloak-and-dagger conversation about how they’re all going to oust that one guy whom everyone hates from Seccies and no one from another
booth would be able to hear them, but if you want to talk with a larger group you can all fit around and have a good chinwag without straining to hear anyone.

The décor is admittedly a little ‘60s Skandi homes, but who doesn’t love some weird lamps and circular shapes as well as the smell of industrial carpet? In fairness to The Tab, this is not a typically Oxonian wood ‘n’ blades kind of bar and realistically, it could very much look like the set of some gritty police drama. However,  having visited a number of these kinds of bars, it’s nice to have a change. There’s a table tennis table, which is a nice alternative to the prerequisite pool table and, to be honest, table tennis is way more fun when you’re a little (a lot) drunk. The bartenders are also really helpful and friendly and they didn’t seem to mind that we kept hitting the ball behind the bar.

The drink selection is not bad and they are also fairly cheap. My pint was well-pulled and my accomplice enjoyed their G’n’T, saying the gin was good quality. The Jägerbombs are also pretty decent, although I got a shot of Jäger with a pint of beer instead of my more usual Red Bull.

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For a Wednesday, I have to say that the bar was not exactly full, which was actually quite nice because it meant we had a bit of space and I can see that if there were a lot of people in there it would get claustrophobic. However, the fact that people weren’t predrinking to go out was not a great sign. I personally liked visiting Keble bar but I’m unsure as to what it would be like having it as my college bar. It has good service, decent prices, and it’s generally an unusual and interesting space. It definitely isn’t the most typical of Oxford bars but it’s still definitely not the worst in Oxford, so, as per usual, The Tab is just wrong.

Verdict: â˜…★★☆☆ (3/5)