Copa to be renamed

A George Street pub is set to change its name in an attempt by its owners to attract new punters.

Copa, a continental-style bar on George Street, is set to return to its original name, the Wig and Pen. According to an employee, Green King, the brewing company which owns the pub, hopes that the change will draw in “a more youthful clientele”.

The Wig and Pen became George Street’s first pub when it opened in 1996 but the site ceased to be a traditional real ale house nine years ago when it was converted into the current bar.

Regulars appear supportive of the proposed change. Douglas Duff, a Copa regular, said: “Copa means nothing to anyone unless you are Italian. It means cup in Italian. But apart from that it doesn’t mean anything.”

He added: “I think the name change is an excellent idea, as it returns the pub to its original name.”

The renaming seems to have caused little controversy in Oxford – on the whole the reception of drinkers has been entirely positive. The change could imply a move away from the continental beers served such as Leffe and Staropramen, and possibly towards a real-ale oriented pub, hoping to tap into the current enthusiasm for local pubs.

Currently the bar hosts live music every Thursday night while Joe O’Neill DJs on Fridays and Saturdays while a menu based on continental cuisines is also on offer.

Frank Hollywell, an occasional customer at the bar, said: “All is quiet at Copa. But the air of change brings in a refreshing renaissance in drinking.”

Greene King has submitted an application to Oxford City Council for new pub signs. A spokesperson said: “We are awaiting the decision of the planning committee before deciding any next steps – at this stage we’re just applying to change the name.”

PHOTO/Tim Dobson