By Rebecca Huff, Senior Staff Writer
Ted Wood, owner of The Wood's, O'Pub, Pachinkos, Sidebar and Corner Grill and Drinkery is opening a restaurant on 12 West Park Pl. between O'Pub and Fey Insurance.
Some community members and students are excited for a new eatery, but others think Oxford has enough restaurants as it is.
In two years' time, Wood converted a 1920's roller rink into Left Field Tavern - a fully functioning restaurant. He gutted the entire place and built Left Field Tavern from scratch.
Howard Kleiman, Oxford resident and media and culture professor, said he's excited about the opening of Left Field Tavern.
"I can't tell you how many times my wife and I were tired and didn't want to cook. We really had to scratch our heads to figure out where to eat," Kleiman said. "When you have that, you realize there aren't as many options as you wished."
Tommy Parizek, a server for Left Field Tavern, said the new restaurant is going to be different from other local bars.
"It's definitely not your run-of-the-mill Oxford place," Parizek said. "It's going to be cool; it's going to be different than what [Oxford] has now."
However, junior Magda Orlander said she thinks Oxford has enough restaurants and bars.
"This town is notoriously lacking in any type of activities that don't involve eating and drinking," Orlander said.
Wood is marketing to a different demographic than those who typically partake in the Miami nightlife scene.
"[Left Field Tavern] is not the typical late night college bar," he said. "It's not going to be a place with loud music, dancing and flashing lights."
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Left Field Tavern will have an outside patio and normal restaurant hours. There will be American appetizers, entrées and desserts.
"I think the food is going to be killer," he said.
Orlander said she doesn't think opening another restaurant will make a significant change in Oxford's nightlife.
"It's lip service; it's pretending that we're doing something for the community but really we're filling our pockets," Orlander said
Parizek disagreed with Orlander, saying Left Field Tavern will change the pace of Oxford.
"There's not really a lot of places that you can go and get a casual drink and have a sit-down meal," he said.
Wood grew up around the restaurant business and worked in restaurants his grandfather owned.
"I think it's a big part of my goal to create a nice reputation for Oxford to have a nice food venue; and, there are a lot of good ones here already," Wood said.
Parizek said he and the other Left Field Tavern employees are helping to set the tone for the new restaurant.
"It's cool to be a part of troubleshooting everything. Some of the input that we had is going to go into changing the menu," Parizek said.
Parizek, Orlander and Wood all said they think Left Field Tavern will be a successful business.
"It's going to do well because this is what people look for and places are constantly overflowing; so of course, he's going to get business. But do we need it? I don't think so," Orlander said.
Left Field Tavern will open next week.