Sunday, August 14, 2022

Say (Grilled) Cheese: the Secret is Out at The Downstairs Bar

Though no photos are allowed in The Downstairs Bar, we couldn't help but snag a few. Photos by Emily Jameson
Though no photos are allowed in The Downstairs Bar, we couldn’t help but snag a few.
Photos by Emily Jameson

A black door with no sign hidden on the Square opens to late night delight. This is a doorway to “the secret grilled cheese place,” as referred to by customers. The waiters, dressed in suits, serve handcrafted cocktails and delicious grilled cheese sandwiches at The Downstairs Bar.

IMG_1980Oxford artists cover the bar’s walls with original photographs and paintings, the TVs are playing old silent films and cartoons. The bar is meant to be a tribute to the Oxford’s art community and to William Faulkner, says the owner.

“I got the B.A.M.F because I liked its funny name,” Sophie Ruff said. “This sandwich was smothered in cheese, and definitely hit the spot for my late night craving.”

The most popular sandwich on the menu is the “Danger Chicken”; two pieces of Texas toast stuffed with cheese, barbecue chicken, onions, and tiger sauce.

With an eclectic menu customers can choose from a variety of grilled cheeses, each served with house made steak fries. With peculiar hours of: 10-12 on Thursdays through Sundays, the snack bar runs off of late nighters on the square.

“I went to the secret grilled cheese place with one of my friends who had been before, and it was an adventure,” Hanna Hullender said. “It’s not a place you would expect to be in Oxford. I got the cream cheese and bacon grilled cheese.”

Everyone knows Oxford has good food — Bottletree’s cinnamon rolls, BBB’s bacon, Bouré’s burger, Taylor’s Grocery catfish, etc. Oxford has some great grub. However, perhaps some of its best food is secretive.

Now it is your turn to go find The Secret Grilled Cheese Place during your next late-night adventure.

Emily Jameson is a staff reporter and can be reached at

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