The Hatch creates 100 new ways to take a shot
Oxford's newest bar, The Hatch, will open Friday Feb. 8. The bar, located at 45 East High St. is replacing Tonic at the bottom of 45 East Bar and Grill.
Senior marketing major Shannon Ford teamed up with Jeremiah Robuck, 45 East's general manager and co-owner Mark Weisman to create Oxford's newest bar with a focus on something other than a DJ or dancing, according to Robuck.
Ford said the bar will be classified as a shot bar, and will serve roughly 100 specialty shots that will contain both classic and interactive drinks. While you can still purchase traditional shots, like a Kamikaze or "Haterade," there will be specialty shots, created by the owners, that will require the customers to use props such as hats, tiaras, wigs, skis, etc.
"This is more about having fun with your friends and doing something slightly ridiculous, versus watching a bartender spin a bottle around and make you a mai tai," Robuck said.
According to Ford, the idea of The Hatch was inspired by her experience abroad in Barcelona at a famous shot bar, Chupitos. After pitching the similar concept tailored for college students to Weisman and Robuck in early December last year, they have been working hard in preparation of their grand opening, Feb. 8.
With barely any time to transform what used to be Tonic, the team spent the majority of its time during winter break testing new shots, researching different liquor companies and preparing their bar for business, Ford said.
Robuck said pricing at The Hatch will be fairly even with the competitors around High Street, so students should not worry about The Hatch being more expensive.
All of the 100 shots' names are written on the walls, with no descriptions, keeping the element of surprise when you pick your poison, according to Ford. The shots that require participation and props will be hidden in the mix of all of the normal ones, so people won't know what exactly they are getting themselves into as they order their first round.
"This is more about the bartender having fun with the customer, and the customer having fun with who they came with," Robuck said.
If a customer is indecisive or is fearful of what they may pick, there will be a shot wheel that will pick a shot for them. They will get a $1 shot or a $5 trashcan as a bonus, according to Robuck.
Ford said that due to the small space around the actual bar, The Hatch will also serve mixed drinks and beer with seating throughout the room to ensure that everyone will have a drink in their hands no matter what types of drinks the customers prefer.
The Hatch has limited hours, only opening Thursday through Saturday nights, but will be available for renting throughout the weeknights. According to Ford, the concept is amazing for celebrations or birthdays and they are welcoming any reservations they receive.
Senior Jessica Downs said she is excited to see how The Hatch compares to other bars.
"I went to a shots bar in Paris, and it was so much fun," she said. "I'm so excited to see how it compares to the one I went to, and definitely ready to have something different in Oxford."
The Hatch is a new concept to Oxford, one that students seem to look forward to.
"If you are looking for something different and you're looking for a laugh, come to The Hatch," Ford said.
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