Staff at a recently closed craft beer bar are reopening it after it shut down following a planning dispute.

Drummers in Langdale Court in Witney closed on July 23 following a decision by West Oxfordshire District Council to take enforcement action over a conservatory that was added during Covid restrictions which allowed Drummer’s to effectively double capacity.

But now former manager Melanie Cassidy and business partner Ian Walton have bought the small bar in a former shop and are relaunching it this week under its new name The Crafty Pint.

Mr Walton said: “Mel took it into her head that we should take it over. I’ve worked with the previous owner Simon Scamp on and off. Since he shut it overnight we decided that we would take it over. And we got our brains together with a couple of other people and we went ahead and did it.

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"We're hoping to open this week. We’ve been running around like headless chickens but we are getting all the old customers. We had a Whatsapp group to all keep in touch and that has snowballed into a large amount of people and they have all helped to get the place ready."

He added: “The USP of the place is that it’s a craft beer bar. We have a variety that changes on a regular basis. The beer used to come from breweries within a 30-mile radius but we have expanded that a bit to good pints from across the country. There’s lot of good local breweries and micro breweries all over.

“The reason for the name change is we wanted to give it a new feel. So we’ve changed the inside with more seating. We want to get back that community hub feeling.”

The bar opened in 2018 as Oxbrew, the same name as the brewery Simon Scamp and his stepson, Aaron Baldwin, started in Enstone in 2016.

In 2019 Oxbrew merged with Little Ox in Freeland and became Little Ox Brew Co.

Aaron decided to stay on the brewing side while signwriter Simon ran the bar renaming it Drummer’s, being a drummer himself.

It first appeared in the Good Beer Guide in 2020 and became first stop in Witney for many beer aficionados.

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Mr Scamp was keen to retire and pursue other interests, according to the Oxford Drinker, the magazine for CAMRA (Campaign for Real Ale).

“In many ways I enjoyed running the bar, but not enough money was coming in,” he said.

“In principle the council didn’t object to the extension, but the conservation people wanted it to be smaller.

"We extended it because of Covid as we needed more space to make it viable but now electricity has gone up threefold and I can’t see an end to it.”