The last school

By Rhonda Dredge

It was a Friday evening in July and the Oxford Scholar was pulling its last beers. 

The regulars were there after work for a bit of old-school banter.

They were fixtures of the Ox, meeting at the same table year in and year out, getting older like marble statues worn down by the grit of the city.

You’re a scholar and a gentleman, was the standard reply for a pot of bitter. You could always count on a mate for a shout.

Now, the pub on Swanston St that has provided bar work for students from across the road at RMIT and a convivial space for office-work types, has closed.

The numbers have been crunched and the pub is down to its last few barrels. Drilling work in Swanston St for Metro Tunnel hasn’t helped. CBD North will be located next door.

Further down Melbourne’s main drag, Young and Jackson’s has vowed to keep on trading during the tunnel construction period. It will be next to CBD South. Can it last the distance?

According to Urbanspoon, there are 28 pubs in the CBD. Make that 27. The Great Western is already off the list and the Oxford Scholar is following on its heels. It will bite the dust soon.

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