Family celebrates 50 years of running the Oxford Arms
Three generations of Maloneys have worked behind the bar of Camden High Street pub
08 June, 2018 — By Dan Carrier
The Maloney family: from left, Ashley, Tom, Anne, Caroline, Amanda and Thomas
A FAMILY who run a pub in the heart of Camden Town celebrated 50 years behind the bar this week.
Three generations of Maloneys have worked at the Oxford Arms in Camden High Street since the family first took over the business in 1968. Current landlord Tom Maloney followed his father, also called Tom, at the helm in 1976. Now his son and daughters work at the bar and helped host an anniversary party on Friday night.
Mr Maloney said: “There is a really nice vibe about the place. People who have worked here, drunk here, all came back to say hello and mark our 50th. We shared so many stories about the place.”
Mr Maloney’s father, a former construction worker, and his mother Kitty, a nurse, had originally met at The Buffalo Club, a famous Irish music venue – now the Electric Ballroom.
He added: “My father wanted to run his own business and the Oxford’s tenancy was up. He thought it looked a good place. “There was a lot more first-generation Irish people living here and there were a lot of Irish pub landlords. The breweries knew that if you had an Irish landlord, it was good for business and they’d run it well.”
He said his family are now the longest-serving Irish family still running a pub in Camden – followed by the Conlons at the Dublin Castle and the Quinns in Kentish Town Road. Daughter Caroline now acts as the general manager, helped by her siblings Ashley and Thomas, while the oldest offspring Amanda also steps in and does shifts when needed.
Mr Maloney added: “If their grandfather knew they were running the pub, he’d be absolutely delighted. He loved the Oxford. I love coming in every day. Sometimes we’re busy, sometimes quiet, but Camden Town is always an interesting and vibrant place.”
And he says one of the secrets of longevity in the pub trade is not to be scared to try something new, from running a burger stall, putting on Gaelic Football and hosting the Etcetera fringe theatre upstairs.
He added: “We converted the rooms and it’s been a success ever since. In this trade, you have to be able to change. You need to keep moving and try different things. They might not all work but with the theatre we took the chance 30 years ago and it is so well established now.”