When news broke recently that Oxfork was being taken back over by Drew Brammer, we were all intrigued to see what he would do with the place… but then further news broke that the much-loved cafe was changing its name to GÄF (I’m dropping the umlauts for the rest of the post), and you might as well have told Oxfork fans that Drew wanted to slap their grannies in the face with a wet fish. Well, that’s what I picked up from social media anyway.
I popped into the mid-refurbish cafe this morning for a sneaky peak at the new decor and menu, but the first question on my mind was the new name – so, what the hell is GAF? How do you pronounce it (gaff, gaef, garf)? And what does it mean?! Well, I didn’t get a definitive answer. It seems to be whatever you want it to be, maybe a bit nordic, maybe your local ‘gaff’, maybe an acronym. I may have been told something off the record, but I’ll leave it to your imagination – could be more fun that way anyway.
The latest venture in Drew’s string of local indie food/coffee joints (Brew, The Chester, The Bear & The Bean, The Jolly Postboys [more on that to come!]), GAF sees him partner up with George Harwood-Dallyn (previously General Manager at The Chester). There’s a brand new chef – Anthony Pitcher – who talked me through the food (more on that in a mo) and it’s provenance. Some of the ingredients will come from local producer Sandy Lane Farm, some from Anthony’s favourite butcher, and the items harder to source locally are from Rungis food market in France.
The menu… get ready for it… is almost entirely vegetarian, with lots of vegan options and a few meat/fish choices, which to a regular meat eater like me doesn’t sound too exciting. But then I saw the menu. ‘Exciting-healthy’ I’m calling it. Or maybe something more catchy, like ‘healthy shit I actually want to eat’. The daytime focus will be on breakfast and brunch, with “veg centric experimentation and bar” in the evening. There is quinoa, there are goji berries, there’s a ‘Breakfast Salad’, and there are lots and lots of wonderful vegetables. But telling you that does it no justice, so I’ve attached the BRAND SPANKING NEW MENUS! You’re welcome 😉
Just ignore the typos, I’m promised they’ve since been corrected.
The cafe was still undergoing a fair bit of work when I visited, in preparation for tomorrow night’s soft launch, so I’ve attached a few teaser pics to give you a glimpse of the new design. We’ll no doubt be live-tweeting and instagramming the shiz out of it tomorrow, though, so you’ll see more then.
Soft-launch: Friday 24th June
Official launch: Monday 27th June
Opening hours: Sunday & Monday 9am – 6pm, Tuesday – Saturday 9am – 10pm