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Home > Cambridgeshire > Cambridge > Oyster Tavern

Oyster Tavern


The Oyster Tavern was situated at 21-24 Northampton St
, and the business occupying the building now (as of 2019) is operating as St. John's Chop House.
The Oyster Tavern was open until 1980. Landlord at the time was Noel Gibney. Bartenders included me, a Scotsman named Billy (sorry, forgot his last name) and Billy's wife Caroline, plus others. Interior was a classic pub, dark wood everywhere, with two main public rooms, one facing the road (with the bar extending along the inner wall and around the corner, with casks at the far end) and a smaller room to the left of the entrance in the wing extending down toward the river. This contained a bar just outside the kitchen doorway with the customer area surrounding it on three sides.
In 1980 it closed for remodeling, and reopened as Crust's Restaurant and Wine Bar. The existing layout was mostly preserved, and an upstairs lounge of overstuffed furniture and a fireplace was opened up above the smaller room, accessible by stairs. The building has gone through a small succession of businesses since then. (At one point Google Street View labeled it as a pizza place, when the photo itself showed it operating under another name.)
This building is said to be almost as haunted as the nearby Pickerel on Bridge Street. One or more ghosts have been encountered over the years, most frequently a man in an overcoat who appears in the front room at closing time, as if waiting for someone. Sightings were enough to generate a 1981 article in the Cambridge Evening News. I did not witness these myself, but two of our waitresses did at separate times. One quit on the spot and never returned; the other thought it was sort of charming, but didn't see the ghost again. Ask for updates the next time you're over there for dinner. :-)

The business occupying the building now (as of 2019) is operating as St. John's Chop House.

Andy Green (July 2019)

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