- 17-18 Victor Street
- OX2 6BT
- M-F 1700-2400, Sat 1200-2400, Sun 1200-2300
December 2008: announced as Oxford CAMRA Pub of the Year 2008
Confusingly there are now (2011) two 'Old Bookbinders' venues, one in Cowley (9 Green Street), and one in Jericho; this one refers to the Old Bookbinders Ale House, in Canal Street, Jericho, OX2 6BT.
I'm not sure when the review below was written but as pointed out above, it recently won Oxford CAMRA Pub of the Year. It's a great back street pub and always has one or two guest ales available. Food's not always the fastest but at least you know it's getting cooked to order.
This was, at one point, a fantastic pub owned by Morrell's and run by Eddie somebody or other.
Visitors should be aware that the Bookbinders would be classed as a slightly eccentric pub (sorry make that very eccentric). If a pub with a bike, inflatable crocodile and a train set hanging from the ceiling is your thing, you might just want to settle down here. The staff are slightly odd and I'm not sure if this is due to excess consumption of the profits or simply the atmosphere of the pub.
The Bookies definitely went downhill when Greene King took over and Eddie left. The new landlord was very friendly, but the brewery wouldn't let him sell nice beer. So the pub lost a lot of custom, the brewery charged horrendous rent, and the nice new landlord realised he couldn't make a go of it. A new guy took over in the spring of 2003; he's trying to be friendly but perhaps trying too hard.... Initially, it seemed that the brewery was giving him more freedom in the beers he serves, and Ray had a nice (read "not Greene King") pint there one time. However, a few months down the line, the number of guest ales is very low and often there are none at all. That said, most of the beer is served in reasonable condition.
On the food side, it still does a reasonable range of standard bar meals at about GBP 5.95. Claims to be a "sausage pub" and has a good selection of sausage dishes. However it's worth pointing out that at busy times they can get very stressed about getting food out of the kitchen in a timely fashion. If you're going in a large group it's best to avoid obvious busy periods. However, they will take advance orders of food if you get a menu and phone beforehand.
People not familiar with Jericho may find it a little difficult to navigate through to The Bookbinders. Going north along Walton Street, walk past The Oxford University Press and Freud's and before you get to the Phoenix Picturehouse take the left along [Jericho Street]?. At the end of the road, Victor Street is immediately to your left.
Quiz Night: Tuesdays
Open Mic: Sundays